Exhibition at Iran's annual Holocaust cartoon competition (2006)
Exhibition at Iran's annual Holocaust cartoon competition (2006) Reuters

Iran’s annual international cartoon contest, which trivializes the Holocaust and compares Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the horrors of the Nazi regime, perpetuates anti-Semitic stereotypes, says a leading Canadian Jewish human rights organization.

The contest, which began on May 14 and will run for two weeks, has received 150 entries from over 50 countries around the world.

“Iran's continued hostility and threats against the Jewish state are rarely challenged in global forums,” Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith, one of the oldest human rights organizations in Canada, said in a statement. “Calling this ‘concerning' is an understatement. The Islamic regime’s almost daily calls for the destruction of Israel clearly define Iran's motives and utter lack of credibility as a partner on the international stage.”

Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaei, the event’s organizer, told an Arab television station that “This exhibition constitutes a response to the publications of cartoons by the French Charlie Hebdo magazine, which affronted the Prophet Muhammad, as well as an expression of our opposition to the massacres perpetrated against the Palestinian people.” 

In a tweet, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said: "I am appalled by the annual Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Iran. This is anti-Semitism, not humour”, and added that the murder of over 6 million Jewish people is a historical fact.

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