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October 1, 2014

Iran New Horizon Conference Draws U.S. Anti-Semites, Holocaust Deniers

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Medea Benjamin participating in the 2nd New Horizon Conference in Tehran

Update — 10/02/14: Read more about the 2nd New Horizon Conference and its U.S. and international participants.

Iran kicked off its anti-America and anti-Israel New Horizon Conference as the final part of the 13th International Resistance Film Festival in Tehran. The three-day conference opened on September 29 and marks the second time Tehran has hosted the event. According to organizers, the event will include “tens of elite thinkers, philosophers, activists and politicians worldwide” who will discuss and “expose” Zionist control of the film industry and the influence of the “Zionist lobby in America.”

As in the previous conference, this year’s New Horizon Conference has drawn the participation of several anti-Israel activists, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers. A new presence at the conference is the participation of a so called American anti-war activist, Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of CODEPINK.

In addition to Benjamin, the conference’s official website published the names of several American and international anti-Semites, anti-Israel activists and Holocaust deniers that are expected to be in attendance, including Maria Poumier, a French conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier; Claudio Moffa, an Italian Holocaust denier; Kevin Barrett, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and frequent contributor to Iran’s English language propaganda news network, Press TV; Garth Porter, an anti-Israel journalist; Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian anti-Israel journalist; and Art Olivier, a former elected official from California and 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

Moreover, Iranian news agencies have reported that a number of other individuals are scheduled to also attend the three-day conference in Tehran. Iranian news agencies have reported the expected participation of Alison Weir, the  director of If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest, two grassroots anti-Israel organizations; Ken O’Keefe, an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist former U.S. Marine and a regular contributor to Press TV; Wayne Madsen, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist; Cyrus McGoldrick, the former Civil Rights Manager for the New York chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations; Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French anti-Semitic comedian and the creator of the anti-Semitic “quenelle” gesture; and Mark Siljander, a former U.S. Representative (R-MI) who was found guilty in 2010 of two federal charges relating to his ties to an Islamic charity alleged to have funded terrorist groups.

The conference was opened with remarks by the personal advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mohsen Ghomi, who boasted that the conference itself is “the biggest threat to Zionists,” and that “American officials are puppets of the Zionist lobby who are taking advantage of American ignorance.” Anti-Israel journalist Garth Porter said during his presentation on Monday that the Mossad and CIA are responsible for manufacturing the nuclear crisis with Iran.

The 2nd New Horizon Conference comes on the heels of the 13th annual International Resistance Film Festival that ran in Tehran from September 22-29. The film festival included submissions from dozens of countries, including Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, and was organized by the Cinematic Community of the Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.

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August 15, 2014

Iran Holds Gaza Exhibition, Cartoon And Caricature Contest

Iran’s House of Cartoon, a professional artist guild sponsored by the municipality of Tehran, announced the opening of an international cartoon contest on the “Israeli war on Gaza,” which has drawn submissions from artists around the world of cartoons and caricatures with anti-Semitic and Holocaust imagery.

The exhibit, called International Gaza Cartoon Exhibit 2014, will run from August 12 to August 28 at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in the Iranian capital.The exhibit is also promoting  and featuring a cartoon and caricature competition, dubbed “From Adolf Netanyahu to Benjamin Hitler,” that will award cash prizes for the best depiction of Israel’s military offensive against Hamas targets in Gaza. According to Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaie, the director of the House of Cartoon, the competition has received submissions from a number of countries, including Brazil, Cuba, Lebanon, Germany and Spain.

The House of Cartoon’s announcement said that the cartoon portion of the contest will focus on four subjects: “Silence of Media and International Associations, Genocide and Killing Baby in Gaza [sic], Treason and Accompany of Arab League, Great Satan (USA).” In addition, there will also be a caricature contest with themes such as “Adolf Netanyahu!” and “Benjamin Hitler!” as well as caricatures of world leaders Iranian leaders have accused of taking Israel’s side in the Gaza conflict, including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Francois Hollande of France, David Cameron of Britain, and Angela Merkel of Germany.

First prize for the best cartoon and caricature will be an award of $1,500, followed by $1,000 for second place, and $700 for third.

Among the cartoons submitted and published on the House of Cartoon’s website are cartoons equating Israelis to Nazis and Israel to Nazi Germany. Images invoking the classic anti-Semitic canard of a blood libel, including depictions of Israel and Israelis as blood-sucking insects or animals attacking Palestinian children, are also prevalent in the exhibit. Caricatures featured in the exhibit include images of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wearing a swastika armband and images of President Barack Obama aiding Israel in killing Palestinians.

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Submission from Bangladesh

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Submission from Iran

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Submission from Iran

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Submission from Brazil

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Submission from Turkey

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July 25, 2014

Iran’s Khamenei Calls Israel’s Destruction The “Only Remedy”

Update — July 26: Shortly following the conclusion of Al Quds Day rallies in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s official Twitter handle posted a graphic, titled “9 key questions about elimination of Israel,” which outlines Khamenei’s vision of destroying Israel and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a referendum, as mentioned in his speech on Thursday, July 24.   

 
“The only remedy is the destruction of Israel,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said to a packed auditorium at Tehran University on July 24.

Khamenei’s call for Israel’s destruction is the latest in the steady escalation of anti-Israel rhetoric from the Iranian regime that remained mostly silent as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas militants in Gaza.

In his speech to university students, which was broadcast live by Iran’s broadcasting authority, Khamenei referred to Israel’s establishment as “illegitimate” and based on the murder of the Palestinian people. Khamenei also repeated the Iranian regime’s call for a referendum to be held in Israel and the Palestinian Territories so that the “residents may choose what kind of governing regime” they want. This suggestion is popular among proponents of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Domestic Iranian print media has also amped up its anti-Israel hostility in anticipation of Friday’s Al Quds Day protests, an annual day of protest against Israel initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, by publishing quotes from various high-ranking officials heaping praise on Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Israeli cities. State-run publications, such as Fars News, have published anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a pool of Palestinian blood in the shape of the Gaza Strip, and images of stereotypical Jewish figures killing Palestinian children. Iranian media published similar anti-Semitic cartoons during Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Ara­bic term for Jerusalem is com­mem­o­rated annu­ally with mass ral­lies and speeches on the last Fri­day of Ramadan. It has tra­di­tion­ally been marked by hos­tile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, includ­ing bla­tant anti-Semitism, at protests held in the Middle East and across cities in Europe and the United States.

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