Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency recently published an article that claimed that Jews were responsible for a historic “Holocaust.”According to The Jerusalem Post, the article managed to simultaneously deny the veracity of the twentieth century Holocaust while claiming that the Jews carried out the “original” one against Christians more than 1,000 years ago on the border of modern-day Yemen.
The timing of the article is not entirely surprising, coming on the heels of the republishing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in France — and the visibly violent ramifications of free speech in a plural democracy and sections of the Muslim community taking offense at that reality.
“The trend in Iran, Malaysia and other countries run by Islamist governments,” wrote the Post, “is to use antisemitism as a way to respond to perceived insults against Islam in Europe.”
Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Kayhan, a conservative Iranian newspaper, claimed that “we referred to undeniable evidence that the Holocaust was falsely claimed by the Zionists and Western governments — but now we seek to show that historical documents refer to a real Holocaust that the Jews of that time, the ancestors of the Zionists, did.”
The twin claims about this alleged incident in 524 CE and the apparent inadmissibility of perpetrator and witness testimony of the Nazi Holocaust is confusing.
The argument suggests that those who carried out the sixth-century slaughter are the progenitors of the “Zionists,” but are not linked to Jews that the Tehran regime claims to tolerate.