New York, NY, September 25, 2013 … Responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s comments about the Holocaust on CNN Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said “it is about time” an Iranian leader recognized the crimes of the Nazi era, but said his remarks were “minimized by his gratuitous swipe at the survivors.”
Reversing previous statements by Iranian leaders, including those of his immediate predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a serial Holocaust denier, President Rouhani referred to the Holocaust as “the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews” and described the killing of Jews during World War II as “reprehensible and condemnable.”
However, Rouhani continued: “This does not mean that on the other hand you can say ‘Nazis committed crimes against a group, now therefore they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it.’ This too is an act that should be condemned.”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:
It is about time an Iranian leader acknowledged the Holocaust as a tragic fact of history. But in practically the same breath President Rouhani engaged in the more subtle form of Holocaust revisionism, minimizing it by accusing the Jewish survivors of taking vengeance on the Palestinians in fulfilling their 2,000-year-old dream of returning to their homeland, Israel. This was a gratuitous swipe at the survivors.
There is no moral equivalency between the slaughter of six million Jews and millions of other innocent men, women and children in the Nazi gas chambers and the plight of the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Iranians, apparently, are willing to come only so far.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.