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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chose to commemorate Quds Day on Friday, September 18, by expressing his usual doubts as to whether the Holocaust really happened. He stated that the Holocaust was used as a false pretext for occupying Palestinian lands. And he is quoted as questioning, “If the Holocaust was a real event, why don’t they allow research on it to clear up the facts?”

To this last question, I would respectfully ask, “Who are ‘they,’ who are not allowing research to take place?” In addition, “What would the disallowed research show, if ‘they’ allowed it to take place?” Tell me if I am mistaken, but to the best of my knowledge, thousands of books have been written about the Holocaust, by researchers of diverse religious affiliations and backgrounds. Did anyone put a gun to their head as to what they could delve into, and what they should leave alone? Is there some sort of Holocaust Research Police that I don’t know about?

Ahmadinejad is not a stupid man. He has read the books, and seen the movies, and the pictures of the thousands of barracks which housed the Jews, and others as well, on their way to the gas chambers. He has seen photos of the piles of clothing, and shoes, and eyeglasses, and all the sundry possessions of the people who were once living, and who had their lives cut short by the brutality of the Nazis. So why bother denying such incontrovertible facts of history?

Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust because in his mind such denial serves a purpose. But to what purpose? Perhaps his denial evokes condemnation from the West, and such condemnation can be used to burnish his reputation for defiance against the “tyranny” of the West? Perhaps his denials and his hatred of Israel can be used to divert attention away from his government’s failed policies, and can inspire support among the masses? Perhaps his fiery words can help to justify Iran’s race to become a nuclear power? Perhaps his verbal attacks embolden Iran’s proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, for further attacks against the Jewish State?

No doubt Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denials serve their purpose, at least in his mind, but there is also a price to be paid for such claims. When you deny the Holocaust, knowing full well that it took place, you deny yourself, because you are willing to predicate your views on the basis of a lie. So if you are willing to lie to yourself in such a brazen way, then who are you when you look in the mirror?

In addition, when you deny the Holocaust, you deny your own people, because you are willing to lie to them, and to lead them on the basis of the lies you tell. How can you claim to respect your people when you lead them on the basis of a lie?

And finally, when you deny the Holocaust, you deny the future of your nation. For a nation to lift itself up from poverty, and to come to terms with the competitive realities of a global economy, it must first come to terms with the truth, and make changes based on an accurate assessment of its condition. How can you come to terms with the truth when you are willing to sweep away the suffering and killing of millions, in the name of propaganda and short-sighted self-interest?

Ahmadinejad may have his reasons for denying the Holocaust, but he should question, in his own mind, whether his reasons justify the consequences. He betrays himself, his people, and the future of his nation, by clinging to his fantasies. The lies he tells are the lies which hold his people back. He speaks for calculation’s sake, but on this score at least, he has miscalculated grossly.

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Comment by Michelle M on November 24, 2009 at 5:52am
I think one of the problems is that the holocaust on the Jewish people is ground into history, but many of the other recent genocides are completely ignored. We don't talk about Bosnia, we don't talk about Rwanda, we don't talk about Darfur. We should have been horrified enough after what happened in WWII... but it seems that even the worst possible human rights abuses aren't enough of a wake up call.
Comment by Michelle M on November 22, 2009 at 5:05am
A further note... it was easy for the world to deny the holocaust when it was in the works, and I think it's just as easy for the world to turn a blind eye to the similar events that are happening to the Palestinians today.... or down the road the world will be left speechless once again, wondering how we let such a horrible injustice happen? The 4th Geneva convention was convened in response to the holocaust, to ensure that such a disgusting abuse of human rights and life will never happen again. Israel, who claims to be a legitimate state and contracting member of the convention, needs to stop all illegal practices according to the convention. The fact that a nation would abuse the laws that were originally meant to protect their own people leaves me completely flabbergasted.
Comment by Michelle M on November 22, 2009 at 4:13am
There will always be conspiracy theorists... they say that the holocaust didn't take place, Apollo 11 was staged and Neil Armstrong never actually walked on the moon, the 9/11 attacks were planned by the US government, Barack Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya.... you get the picture. People use conspiracy theories to further their political agenda, but most of the time, they just make themself look like donkeys. I am quite offended that anyone would try to completely discount a horrible genocide. My own father asked me if I was a holocaust denier because of my views on Israel and Palestine. It's offensive and completely unnecessary.
Comment by harry deloria handenero on November 16, 2009 at 10:33am
hello friend to be ...nissim dahan your so blessed for being you, but in your issue about your new blog we all the people born in denial in my own opinion cause every one of as lies and lying is the number word using of its people who need to lie something or depend or hiding their mestakes me i lie too it is because i born with lie and open my mouth through the words i hear and the voices that i hear too and see in this mysterious world but sometimes lies get you in a good or bad moods in terms of denial a thing or words to be lie friend this is only my opinion on you i hope too that you were get understand what i'm saying and hope you to visit here in the philippines may you see me in personal and may you say oh my god its you harry ..me god bless you friend and your family circle hope to be the good follower of god and more peace actrivities you made too.more power to you again..may you visit my page just for further information on my self,,.

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