Israeli leaders call on UN’s Ban to condemn Iranian Holocaust denial cartoon contest

JERUSALEM (JTA) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must publicly condemn Iran’s Holocaust denial and a cartoon contest that promotes it, Israel’s speaker of the Knesset urged.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein in a letter dated Wednesday also called on Ban to take the matter up directly with Iran.

The Holocaust denial cartoon contest is sponsored by the Tehran municipality, according to reports.

Some 839 works were submitted to last year’s contest, in part a reaction to the controversy over the portrayal of the prophet Mohammed in the media, including the Charlie Hebdo French satirical magazine. The winner of the contest received $50,000.

“As head of an organization that in 2005 adopted the brave resolution to establish January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask that you exert your moral authority through public condemnation of the Iranian policy and by addressing this matter directly with Iran, as well,” Edelstein wrote to Ban.

“There are no words strong enough to describe the contempt and profound disdain of the State of Israel, the Israeli people and many others the world over, to Iran’s insistent Holocaust denial,” Edelstein also wrote.

Edelstein also called on Israeli lawmakers to decry Holocaust denial on social media on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on Jan. 27.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, last week sent a letter to Ban calling on him to condemn the cartoon competition.

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