The other day Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denies the Holocaust.
But Rouhani specifically acknowledges the Holocaust, per CNN, covering the president’s interview with Christiane Amanpour:
Iran’s new president has acknowledged the Holocaust, furthering the stark contrast between himself and his predecessor.
“Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews, was reprehensible and condemnable,” President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn. The taking of human life is contemptible. It makes no difference whether that life is a Jewish life, Christian or Muslim.”
He followed with an apparent reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it’s not acceptable to “usurp the land of another group and occupy it.” He called for “an even-handed discussion.”
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell also reports similar statements from Rouhani yesterday:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repudiated his predecessor’s Holocaust denials on Wednesday, saying the Nazis “committed a crime against Jews” but that the question of “scale” should be left to historians.
“The Nazis carried out a massacre that cannot be denied, especially against the Jewish people,” he said in an informal conversation with a small group of U.S. reporters, including NBC News.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has also stated that Rouhani is a Holocaust denier. Shouldn’t it retract this statement?
The Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman issued a statement accepting Rouhani’s acknowledgement of the Holocaust but going on to say he was creating a false equivalence between Jewish and Palestinian suffering.
“But in practically the same breath President Rouhani engaged in the more subtle form of Holocaust revisionism, minimizing it by accusing the Jewish survivors of taking vengeance on the Palestinians in fulfilling their 2,000-year-old dream of returning to their homeland, Israel. This was a gratuitous swipe at the survivors.
“There is no moral equivalency between the slaughter of 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent men, women and children in the Nazi gas chambers and the plight of the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and Gaza. The Iranians, apparently, are willing to come only so far.”
This is a form of Nakba denial. Though he mentions the Palestinian “plight,” Foxman completely ignores what Rouhani meant by saying Israel usurps others’ lands: the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians expelled from their lands and homes so that Israel could establish a majority-Jewish state. It’s a wonder that Foxman is the go-to guy for the media on talking points on anti discrimination when he denies these crimes, and does so as a partisan for Israel.