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Holocaust denying cartoon website launches

A new Maziar Bijani has recently launched. New York Times blogger Robert Mackey reports that the site is sponsored by a nongovernmental cultural foundation and as of yesterday was bogged down due to traffic.

Community Comments

#1 Leroy Brown
August/6/2010
@ 1:22 pm

how bizarre… very bizarre website.

#2 Jynksie
August/6/2010
@ 1:40 pm

Further proof as to why the Muslim world has a huge PR problem with the rest of society! They continue to let the crackpots and the fundamentalists run their religion and their culture into the ground with crap like this! o.O

#3 Kelly Ferguson
August/6/2010
@ 1:42 pm

Please tell me they’re not using the ComicPress template.

#4 Steve Greenberg
August/6/2010
@ 3:17 pm

Sad, sick and denying of documented reality, but this is some of the work that Iran’s Ahmadinejad promoted in his anti-Holocaust competition from two or three years ago.

#5 Kelly McNutt
August/6/2010
@ 4:55 pm

Stupendously juvenile tripe. There go three ill-used
irretrievable minutes.

#6 Mike Peterson
August/6/2010
@ 6:22 pm

Showed more wit than any of the Muhammed cartoons I’ve seen so far, but he certainly isn’t hampered by a reverence for historical truth or fairness. Not that he’s the only editorial cartoonist to go that route, but this is a particularly sustained bout of ugly lies.

I wonder what the impact might be of putting that much creative energy and dry sarcasm into a discussion of the purported connection between the Holocaust and the handing over of Palestine?

#7 Randi Harlan
August/7/2010
@ 8:55 am

They’re putting this out so that the Holocaust can happen all over again. Propaganda is being spread about the Jewish people and other religious minorities, like members of the Baha’i faith: http://www.bahairights.org

Their homes are being burned, cemeteries destroyed, they are denied employment and a college education. So many have been murdered (by hanging, etc). They even hung a 16 year old girl (http://www.bahai.us/day-of-courage) back in 1983. Recently, a group of Baha’is were put in prison without charge for years. They have now been officially charged with “conspiring to promote Zionism”.

#8 Jerry Z.
August/7/2010
@ 9:19 am

Humor for me is mainly to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. These hate-filled cartoons to me afflicts the afflicted. Just shows how sick the Iranian regime is.

#9 Jeff Parker
August/7/2010
@ 11:17 am

“Holocartoons” is the correct moniker…

#10 Mike Peterson
August/8/2010
@ 4:06 am

Expand on that, Jerry. Do you mean they’re making it harder for the Palestinians to accept the theft of their land, or do you mean they’re picking on the Jews? Who is the “afflicted” in your view?

#11 Jerry Z.
August/8/2010
@ 7:38 am

I didn’t mention the Palestinians in my post, which is a separate issue. The millions who died in the Holocaust are the victims. Also the survivors and the relatives are victims too.

#12 Mike Peterson
August/8/2010
@ 1:07 pm

No, Jerry — you just said the “afflicted.” If you read the cartoon, you’ll see that he considers the Palestinians to be afflicted. I didn’t know if you were saying that he DIDN’T comfort them with this stuff, or if you were going back to the Holocaust victims as the afflicted.

And it’s sure not a “separate issue” in the minds of anybody in the Middle East — there are people there who accept the historic truth of the Holocaust without accepting that it justified the establishment of a new state or the ousting of Palestinians from their lands.

You can’t begin to understand the anger behind this cartoon if you don’t accept the complexity of the issue.

#13 Jerry Z.
August/8/2010
@ 7:23 pm

Mike,

This is a site devoted exclusively to the hatred of the Jewish people in general and Israel specifically. Most of these cartoons seem to imply that the Jews were themselves complicit in the Holocaust – or caused it – or simply deny that the Holocaust happened, a position supported by the current government of Iran.

So we are not talking theoretically – we are talking about the actual beliefs of actual people who are backed up by those with guns and possibly nuclear weapons.

Most of these cartoons depict the Jews in ways that have been stereotypical for hundreds of years. Perhaps you don’t understand the pain associated with that.

You brought the Palestinians into this debate – I had nothing to say about them, and they weren’t relevant to the cartoons I was viewing. You seem obsessed with the issue yourself to the point where you can’t view the pain or legitimate concerns of non-Palestinian people.

Frankly, from what I see in the Arab/Muslim world, most of them don’t give a damn about the Palestinians and do nothing to actively help them. Jordan actually kicked many of them out of the country themselves. The Palestinians are just used as a tool against Israel – that is the purpose they serve in the Arab/Muslim world.

If you want to continue to support, encourage, explain, or whatever, a website that promotes hatred of the Jewish people, using the most debased stereotypes, and that promotes the lie that 6 million Jews were not brutally murdered, that is your choice. I don’t think you should continue to hide behind the Palestinians. Your obvious problem is with the Jews.

#14 Mike Peterson
August/8/2010
@ 8:05 pm

See, you’ve taught me something. I already knew that anyone who questioned Israel’s policies was Antisemitic, but I didn’t realize that simply knowing Palestinians feel ripped off was also a sign of Antisemitism.

So the only fair way to judge that cartoon is to not read it. Anything else is Antisemitic.

Only leaves me with one question: Are you trying to prove your point, or his?

#15 Jerry Z.
August/8/2010
@ 8:15 pm

I think you’ve proven my point for me.

#16 Ted Rall
August/9/2010
@ 12:23 am

These cartoons are awful for many reasons, not least of which is that they’re boring, terribly executed and rely on illogical thinking and outright lies.

I think what Mike is trying to get to–he will correct me if I’m wrong–is that oppression can make you crazy.

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories live under an apartheid regime imposed by an Israeli government that ought to know better specifically because of the Jewish experience in the Holocaust. As they have been systemically dispossessed, exploited, tortured and murdered, the world has stood by and watched without lifting a finger to intercede. Yes, this includes Arab states.

The media ignores or downplays the Palestinian POV. Their “government” in the West Bank is a corrupt collaborationist joke. The blockage of Gaza is an affront to common decency.

Is it any wonder, then, that they are increasingly radicalized, or that they despise Jews–including the majority of Israelis, who actually sympathize with them but don’t quite take to the streets to stand up for them–or that they start to question the basic justification given for founding the State of Israel–the Holocaust?

(If the Holocaust were the real reason, shouldn’t Israel have been formed from land seized from Germany?)

Obviously it is insane to deny the Holocaust. It is certainly bad PR. But it is easy to see how people who are pushed around–and their sympathizers–fall into that trap.

#17 Jerry Z.
August/9/2010
@ 5:31 am

My original comment was about this Iranian website where the intent is solely to represent the Jewish people in the most debased stereotypes and to deny the Holocaust, or even worse, to seem to accuse the Jewish people as being responsible for, or complicit, in, the Holocaust.

I saw NOTHING in these terrible cartoons (artistically and philosophically) about the Palestinians. There is a HOLOCAUST website. I don’t know WHY you are dragging the Palestinians in this as they are TWO separate issues.

What I gather from these comments of Mike’s is that the pain and suffering of Jews for 2000 years doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to portray Jews with stereotypical big noses, and clothes, and attitudes. It doesn’t matter to deny or mock the suffering of Holocaust victims, some of whom are STILL living, and whose survivors certainly are.

I am absolutely outraged and appalled by the apologies being generated for this horrible, hate mongering Iranian website. It is possible to both condemn this website AND be able to feel compassion for the Palestinians. These are not exclusive. But when I see someone immediately ignore the hatred and stereotypes aimed at the Jewish people, by raising the flag of the Palestinians, who are not even PART of this website, it immediately makes me suspect that commenter, whether he knows it or not, is an anti-Semite, and someone who hates Israel.

For bother or worse, after wandering for 2000 years, and being subjected to regular pogroms and constant discrimination and misery, the Jewish people once again have a home. It’s a reality the world will simply have to deal with as THIS time the Jews are NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

#18 Mike Peterson
August/9/2010
@ 5:40 am

I think there is a point at which some oppressed people fall into a trap of becoming “Oppressed People” — of accepting oppression as part of their identity instead of a hindrance, if that make sense. The ones who get into this trap — Native Americans, African Americans, Irish — begin to look for additional proof of their oppression and to accept outlandish historical fictions as examples of it.

It’s ridiculous to believe that the Holocaust is a lie, just as it’s ridiculous to believe that the CIA developed AIDS to target black communities, that white men invented scalping or that Cromwell’s men tossed Irish babies into the air and caught them on their swords.

But there are people who enjoy the lack of responsibility they gain by becoming helpless victims of a master plot, and their compatriots find themselves in the uncomfortable position of either silently going along with it, or standing up to defend what is, after all, the oppressor, even if the oppressor isn’t quite as nonsensically evil as depicted.

Two points here:
1. I think, as Ted suggests, that it’s reasonable to ask why the Palestinians had to lose their land to atone for German outrages.
2. It’s intellectually dishonest to evaluate a work of art simply by whether you agree with the artist’s overall thesis. It’s particularly dishonest to evaluate it without examining it. The theme of how European guilt over the Holocaust led to the establishment of Israel is a major part of this cartoon, and to miss that and say it’s irrelevant suggests that you read the first two pages and not the rest.

In fact, I would suggest that, had the colonial powers not backed the establishment of Israel, and had they not tolerated the removal of Arabs toward that end, nobody in the Muslim world would spend 15 minutes thinking about whether or not the Holocaust happened. If you can’t see that connection, you can’t intelligently discuss the cartoon.

Or maybe I’m just a self-loathing agnostic …

#19 Jerry Z.
August/9/2010
@ 6:00 am

Apparently you ARE a self loathing agnostic. Self knowledge is a good thing.

The bottom line is that THIS Iranian website IS NOT ABOUT PALESTINIANS. YOU brought up the Palestinians yourself. This website, which was probably supported and encouraged by the Iranian government which also holds these views, is devoted to the hateful and stereotypical depiction of Jews and the denial or mockery of the Holocaust. Again…IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PALESTINIANS.

One can both feel for the pain and misery of Jews over 2000 years, and their murder in the millions by the very same thinking and attitudes represented in this website, AND feel compassion for the Palestinian people. YOU don’t seem to be able to do this however. I find it appalling that you are making apologies for the images and ideas represented in this website, which is dedicated solely to the hatred and mockery of Jews. You might consider what that says about you.

#20 Mike Peterson
August/9/2010
@ 12:38 pm

Okay, maybe you didn’t stick around until Page 38, when he begins to discuss the use of the Holocaust as justification for the establishment of Israel.

But, come on, man — the Preface begins: “This book tends to denounce the ‘planed murder of 6 million Jews during the Second World War’ allegedly called ‘Holocaust.’ The lie that is so obvious that there is no need for any further explanation. The lie by which the Palestinian occupier Zionists have justified their occupying of Palestine and lots of their crimes for years.”

Are you illiterate? Or do you routinely argue about books you haven’t even read?

Or are you behaving like this because you are secretly a friend of the cartoonist and are acting a part intended to make his critics look like idiots?

Come on, man. You don’t have to respect his politics. Just respect the intelligence of the people on this forum. Or at least demonstrate a little self-respect.

#21 Jerry Z.
August/9/2010
@ 1:13 pm

Mike, I don?t even understand what your point is anymore, if you even have one. Initially you seemed to be defending the cartoonist by attacking the Israelis for their treatment of the Palestinians. I haven?t read the entire website, just as I haven?t read all of ?Mein Kampf? ? perhaps you have more patience than I do. But I think that YOU brought in the Palestinians so you could attack Israel. That seemed to be your point rather than even the cartoonist?s, who is obsessed with denying the Holocaust. But now you are criticizing me for not being able to digest all of this sludge. I?ll be generous and leave you my portion.

#22 Mike Peterson
August/9/2010
@ 1:26 pm

Art criticism isn’t about “attacking” and “defending.” It’s about analyzing and understanding.

I started out by calling the work a “sustained bout of ugly lies,” and said that it would be interesting to see that much energy and talent go into a rational discussion of the establishment of Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinians. I stand by that.

You, on the other hand, can’t seem to get past the “sustained bout of ugly lies” to understand the fury that impels that kind of hatred. Fact is, both sides have grievances, and, if you can’t understand that, you can’t understand what’s going on over there.

And, since this is a cartoon site, it certainly means you can’t analyze the cartoon. Compare it to the cartoons that were drawn simply to offend Muslims, for instance. Does the more sustained nature of this piece make it more or less offensive than those one-off pot-shots?

#23 Jerry Z.
August/9/2010
@ 1:59 pm

I cannot call the cartoons on this website art just like I can’t call the work of Fritz Hippler art.

I believe at this point you are trying to hide behind a façade of rationalism, whereas your gut reaction seemed to be to use the exposure of this Iranian website as an opportunity to criticize Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. While such criticism might be valid, this was not the forum to do that as the website you used as a tool is itself just a paen to anti-Semitic hatred and odious stereotypes.

I think we?ve both stated enough of our positions at this point so that others may see where each of us stands on the issue of THIS website, and they can make up their own minds.

#24 Mike Peterson
August/9/2010
@ 2:49 pm

Well, you’ve certainly done an excellent job of mis-stating and ignoring mine. And I’ll remember not to sit you two next to each other at my next dinner party.

#25 Jerry Z.
August/9/2010
@ 4:48 pm

That?s okay. I don?t see myself having tea in Tehran any time soon.

#26 Dave Stephens
August/9/2010
@ 5:26 pm

Hey Mike, try this perspective…

If Nazis had a cartoon website that made up garbage about their Jewish population and showed one hate-filled cartoon after another about how exterminating Jews was a wonderful thing for the Motherland, if such a similar monstrous website existed for the sole reason of fomenting hatred for the Jewish population, would you truly think to comment, “Well, gosh, that website is wrong, of course, but hey, you know some of those Jews they murdered had it coming – some of those Jews were certainly criminals so I can understand why they were sent to Auschwitz – I can certainly see why those Nazis have a grievance against those Jews.”

A Nazi website devoted to lies and hatred against their despised enemy OR an Iranian website devoted to lies and hatred against their despised enemy – does it REALLY matter whether the Nazis killed a few actual criminals? The answer is NO – the website would STILL be an ABOMINATION.

Does it really matter if the Jewish taking of Palestinian land was fair? NO. This website we are discussing here is STILL an ABOMINATION.

#27 Mike Peterson
August/9/2010
@ 8:27 pm

Dave, I understand the futility of arguing with true believers, and I was probably foolish to think that there was a potential discussion here.

But my first question was where was this conversation when cartoonists in the West were purposely insulting Muslims?

My second question was what if, instead of creating this “sustained bout of ugly lies,” the cartoonist had created a series of cartoons that accepted the history and acknowledged the horrors of the Holocaust, but then questioned why Palestinians had to leave their land? Would it be effective, or would it also just be seen as Antisemitic?

Why is it unreasonable to ask those questions?

#28 Ted Rall
August/10/2010
@ 12:39 am

Actually, Matt Bors, Steven Cloud and I plan to be sipping tea in Tehran in mid-September.

The website is disgusting.

@Mike: Within the editorial cartoonist community, at least, there was a vigorous debate over whether the Danish cartoonists who deliberately sought to provoke Muslim outrage with depictions of Mohammed deserved our support or not. I don’t think it was ever resolved, but it definitely happened.

#29 Gar Molloy
August/10/2010
@ 2:01 am

Dammit Dave you brought the Nazis into it! Don’t you know that means you automatically lose any argument on the internet?!

Although it’s in relation to antisemitic propaganda, so I’ll let it slide just this once.

#30 Mike Peterson
August/10/2010
@ 5:12 am

Ted, I heard more of that conversation on the second-go-round, the “Draw Mohammed Day” piece. I heard a few isolated voices on the first, mostly outshouted. That could be my perception, of course, or it could be yours — I’m not on Wisenheimer, for example, and I also imagine you had some direct discussions.

And, once again, I think this piece is outrageous. But simply saying that is not discussion. Which is why I think it’s good that you’re headed for some constructive engagement. There are people not only in “the Muslim world” which is so diverse as to have little meaning, but in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, who would also be appalled at this website and this argument.

I get frustrated knowing that there is a strong, progressive, reformist community in Iran and that they have been stifled by the regime. It’s heartbreaking to see candidates declared ineligible by the supreme council, simply because they back reform. But it’s also heartbreaking to see Iran depicted as a monolithic group of nutcases and thugs, because there are better ways to address the issue than by demonizing an entire nation and beating the drums for another unnecessary war.

Good luck over there. But I also hope you can do some good over here, where you’re competing with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to tell the story.

#31 Ted Rall
August/10/2010
@ 9:02 am

Thanks, Mike, for your good wishes. The idea is to bring back some truth. Truth is good, although Americans seldom like to hear it.

Those who call for war against Iran are out of their minds. As we’ve learned from what they did to Afghanistan, Iraq, and us by extension.

#32 Ted Rall
August/10/2010
@ 9:03 am

Going to sleep now, got an early flight to Dubai and then Dushanbe in the morning. See you, TDC!

#33 Jeremy Nell
August/11/2010
@ 2:47 pm

Either way, those are some pretty good cartoons.

#34 Mike Peterson
August/12/2010
@ 5:31 pm

Thought this was pretty interesting — both the story and the source.

http://english.aljazeera.net/photo_galleries/europe/20108111212767930.html

#35 Jerry Z.
August/12/2010
@ 9:55 pm

I truly believe you’re a nut.

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