Press Release

Speakers at Iranian Conference Decry “Zionist” Influence on Hollywood

New York, NY, February 5, 2013 … A rogue’s gallery of conspiratorial anti-Semites and anti-Zionists gathered in Tehran earlier this week for a government-sponsored conference on “Hollywoodism,” which purported to explore the role of Hollywood in promoting negative views of Iran and in fomenting religious conflicts around the globe.

The two-day conference had “a deep undercurrent of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which pointed to remarks by Iranian government officials during the conference and the apparent endorsement by various well-known conspiracy theorists, including a number of 9/11 “truthers,” the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala and various left-wing anti-Israel individuals.

“Not surprisingly, Iran is once again at the forefront of promoting classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel while giving legitimacy to a rouge’s gallery of conspiratorial anti-Semites and anti-Zionists,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Make no mistake, while conference organizers might claim this was meant to be an open-ended inquiry into the influence of Hollywood, the event had a deep undercurrent of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism consistent with Iran’s longheld anti-U.S. and anti-Israel posture.”

In the past, Iran has hosted conferences denying the Holocaust and focused on spreading hateful canards about Jews, Zionism and the State of Israel.

Among those attending the third annual “International Conference on Hollywoodism and Cinema” in Tehran this week was Javad Shamaghdari, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, who opened the conference on February 2 with a statement suggesting that “Zionist philosophy” influences much of the films that Hollywood produces, and that those films are “serving the devil.”

“Hollywood is not an independent phenomenon and has no uniform nature but surely there is a hidden management that is leading the economic, business, researching and theorizing centers,” Mohammad Hosseini, Iran’s Minister of Culture and Guidance, suggested in his remarks.  “There are few people to say the truth that today’s human knowledge shouldn’t be just available for the oppressors and powerful countries who are under domination of the Zionists.”

“One need only look at the statements of this conference to see that they are promoting the classical anti-Semitic stereotype of Jewish domination and control of the film industry,” said Mr. Foxman.  “The Iranian leadership has become expert at repurposing age-old anti-Semitic canards to legitimize and promote their hateful and conspiratorial worldview.”

The conference web site identifies a list of “partners” that includes several American and international anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists and organizations.