The President of Iran: The Energizer Bunny of Holocaust denial

Sigh.

You know, the President of Iran, Ahmoud Ahmadinejad, is, sadly, not unlike the Energizer Bunny. He keeps going and going and going and going. This time around, he just can’t resist putting his foot in it again. Hot on the heels of hosting a Holocaust Cartoon Exhibit as his response to the Danish cartoon incident designed to “test the tolerance” of the West for offensive “humor” directed at Jews and the Holocaust. Never mind that, unlike Denmark, this “Holocaust cartoon exhibit” is being held in a nation with in essence no freedom of speech, where the government controls the media and where there is widespread sympathy for anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Now, he wants to host a “conference” about the Holocaust in the autumn:

(AP) Iran said Sunday it would sponsor a conference in the autumn questioning the extent of the Holocaust, dismissing it as exaggerated, in a provocative move timed during a visit by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The decision came as Annan raised concerns with Iranian officials over an exhibition of cartoons about the Holocaust in Iran’s capital, Tehran. In critical comments, he stressed that the Holocaust was “an undeniable historical fact.”

Hard-line President Ahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Nazis’ slaughter of 6 million Jews a myth and said Israel should be wiped off the map or moved to Germany or the United States. His remarks prompted a global outpouring of condemnation.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said both opponents and proponents of the existence of the Holocaust could participate in the conference.

“God willing, a conference on the Holocaust will be held in the autumn. The Holocaust is not a sacred issue that one can’t touch,” he told reporters. “I have visited the Nazi camps in Eastern Europe. I think it is exaggerated.”

Yikes, not only does he diss Kofi Annan, but he spews yet more of his usual Holocaust denial blather. I particularly like the part where he’s inviting “both” opponents and proponents of the existence of the Holocaust–as if there were a legitimate case to be an “opponent” of the existence of the Holocaust or any need for historians to be “proponents” of the Holocaust existence. No, wait. I take that back. It’s because of anti-Semitic nutjobs like Ahmadinejad that we do have to state the evidence supporting the historicity of the Holocaust again and again and again. (Holocaust deniers are a lot like creationists and HIV/AIDS “skeptics” in their ability to ignore the preponderance of evidence that contradicts their positions.) We have to answer this Energizer Bunny by becoming Energizer Bunnies ourselves and keep repeating and repeating and repeating the same evidence and debunkings again and again.

Anyone want to take any bets about what the consensus about the Holocaust this conference will reach will be? The Iranians are clever enough to know that no legitimate historian is likely to attend the conference to be a voice in favor of the historicity of the Holocaust; the only “scholars” likely to show up are out and out Holocaust deniers and anti-Semitic nutjobs.

Like the President of Iran.