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July 6, 2016

In Marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, Senior Iranian Officials Call For Israel’s Destruction

As the Iranian government commemorated Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day on Friday, July 1st, which included the usual protests involving the burning of US and Israeli flags, some senior Iranian religious leaders and government officials expressed their desire to see Israel’s destruction. These pronouncements, some of which echoed prior comments made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, included:

  • “Today the most important point for the Islamic world is unity against Israel and whoever breaks this unity would be a traitor. People of Iran never abandon their goal. I hope that a third intifada will lead to the destruction of Israel.” – Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamadani 
    Iran
  • “As the Supreme leader said: In 25 years we will be the witness of the destruction of Zionist regime.” – Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan
  • “We are getting close to collapse and destruction of the Zionist regime. This regime is making all its effort to support the terrorism and elimination of Muslims.” – Hossein Taeb, Iranian Shia Muslim cleric and current head of the Intelligence Organization of Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution

The Al-Quds Day celebrations also featured Iranian government-sponsored demonstrations with harsh anti-Israel expressions, and anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons were published in Iranian media outlets.

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July 1, 2016

Iranian Commemoration of Al-Quds Day Includes Anti-Semitic and Harsh Anti-Israel Expressions

Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, which takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan, was initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians and to assert the Islamic claim over Jerusalem. While events are held around the world, in Iran, it is often marked by a hateful demonstration of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment, manifest in government organized rallies and other activities. Before this years’ Al Quds day (July 1), Iran’s leadership rallied the country.  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called its commemoration and support for the oppressed Palestinians an important religious duty.

The Islamic Propagation Coordination Council in a statement called for widespread participation in Quds Day demonstrations and asked them to repeat the same slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel and Death to international Zionism and Imperialism.” It was reported that in one Quds Day demonstration, placards were held up which called for Israel’s destruction by the year 2040, and people chanting “Death to America” threw stones at a mock Statue of Liberty. In advance of Al Quds day, Iran’s Fars news agency published a wave of harsh anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons, some with classical anti-Semitic themes, such as Jewish world domination, depicting the world under the control of a Jewish/Israeli octopus, worm or spider:

Others are of a more anti-Israel nature, yet similarly conspiratorial in that they imply Israel is a part of a broader, if not global, U.S. plot. One depicts Israel as a dog operated by the U.S. against Gaza, while another shows the U.S. and an Arab figure – most probably representing the Saudi royal family who are bitter rivals of the Islamic Republic – forming together a Star of David, as though they are working in the service of Israel and the Jews.

Other cartoons depict an Israel on the verge of destruction.  One depicts an Israeli figure running away just before a dam with a Star of David collapses, as a result of a mass of people, with the caption “Death to Israel”. Another cartoon shows an Israeli soldier drowning in blood represented by the red part of the Palestinian flag.

Other cartoons demonize Israel by deforming the appearances of an Israeli soldier shown with satanic ears and with teeth shaped like nuclear missiles, while another of former Israeli president Shimon Peres depicts him as a demonic figure.

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May 11, 2016

Iran’s Second International Holocaust Cartoon Exhibition Opens On May 14

On May 14, 2016, the second international Holocaust Cartoon Contest exhibition will open in Iran, with the first place winner – reportedly to be announced in June – receiving a large cash prize. According to reports in the Iranian press, the May 14th date was chosen to coincide with Nakba Day (catastrophe day), the term used by Palestinian to refer to the events surrounding Israel’s independence in 1948.

The contest reportedly received over 800 submissions from artists in 50 countries, and the exhibition will feature 100 works, as well as 50 profile cartoons on the subject of “Netanyahu”, a reference to the Israeli Prime Minister.

Auschwitz TracksDome of the Rock

 

 

 

 

 

In a recent New Yorker magazine interview, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif denied accusations that the Holocaust contest is supported by the Iranian government. However, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, the secretary of the NGO responsible for contest Massoud Shojaei Tabatabaei stated that the contest organizers cooperate with the Iranian Ministry of Culture, and that everyone in the Iranian regime “knows that this exhibition is highly respected.”

Iran held its first Holocaust cartoon contest back in 2006 under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, receiving 204 entries from Iran and around the world. During his tenure as President, Ahmadinejad repeatedly used his position to promote Holocaust denial, a practice that continues to this day in parts of Iran. The 2006 contest’s winning submission depicted Israel constructing a wall, painted with an image of the infamous railway leading to the gates of Auschwitz, around the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. Other winners included images of Palestinians in concentration camp garb, the “myth of the gas chambers” and a Holocaust museum in the shape of a swastika.

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