Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Equates Israel-Palestinian Relations With Holocaust
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif drew a parallel between Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the Holocaust, in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
Questioned about his country’s longtime promotion of Holocaust denial and minimization, Zarif referred to the Holocaust by name, saying “the Holocaust is not a myth,” and claimed, “Nobody is talking about the myth.”
“The point is,” he followed up, “we condemn the killing of innocent people, whether it happened in Nazi Germany or whether it’s happening in Palestine. One crime, however heinous — and holocaust was a heinous crime, it was a genocide, it must never be allowed to be repeated.”
“But that crime cannot be, and should not be, a justification to trample the rights of the Palestinian people for 60 years,” Zarif added.
Confronted by Stephanopoulos about a statement on the website of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei referring to “the myth of the massacre of the Jews known as the Holocaust,” Zarif blamed mistaken translation.
“If it said it, it’s a bad translation,” he claimed. “And it is translated out of context that they have, they are using it. He was talking about the reaction to somebody talking about the historical incident and requiring research about that historical incident and said, what is it that people are so upset that somebody is simply asking that we should do some studies of that.”
The interview with Zarif follows a widely reported incident Wednesday in which Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani was reported to have acknowledged the Holocaust in an interview with CNN. The network was later accused of “fabricating” parts of the interview and adding the word “Holocaust,” among other conciliatory phrases, to its translation.
According to the European Union’s working definition of Antisemitism, “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” is considered to be anti-Semitic.