The big news story today is that 67 “foreign researchers” from 30 countries are meeting today and tomorrow in Tehran to discuss the Holocaust. The conference was organized by the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies at the request, no doubt, of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad has in the past denied that the Holocaust ever happened, describing it as a “myth,” that was fabricated as a way to give the Jews land that, in his view, rightfully belongs to Palestine.
Its easy to understand the outrage that followed the announcement of this conference and that continues today. The fact that the holocaust happened is not a fact that is questioned by rational minds, there is too much documentation and there are too many witnesses still alive to deny this particular reality. The outrage itself, however, is counter productive; it only serves to draw the eyes of the world to the conference in a way that gives it the air of respectability that comes with recognition. Too late now, however, to be philosophical about it, the conference is under way and the world is watching and betting on its outcome.
The best bet is that Iran has ‘stacked the deck’ and has invited a vast majority of holocaust deniers (they refused to divulge a list of attendees for “security” reasons) so that the announced result will substantiate Ahmadinejad’s claim that the holocaust was a myth or, at least, an isolated event. More importantly, however, if this is the result, it is sure to be reported in a way that will attempt to make a rational argument that Israel has no right to the land that it now occupies. That, after all, is one of Ahmadinejad’s ‘end-games.’
There is only a slight possibility that those who bet on the above scenario will lose. That possibility arises from the fact that Iran lusts for control of the Middle-East and it may twist the unalterable fact of the holocaust to its benefit by admitting its misjudgment of the event. This will, predictably, draw appreciative nods from the critics, improve Iran’s (and Ahmadinejad’s) image, making Iran look more like a rational Middle-Eastern power (and less like a rabid dog) and, most importantly (to Iran) make those who today protest so loudly look foolish tomorrow.
The result, however it is framed, will, no doubt, be interesting.
The Baltimore Sun: Iran opens Holocaust conference
The Times and Democrat (South Carolina): Iran Holocaust Conference Draws Ire
From the blogosphere:
Zionist War: Iran hosts Holocaust conference
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