Toronto officials rejected an exhibit comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler.
In nixing the educational exhibit, the officials in keeping with city policy said it may “stereotype or promote views and ideas which are likely to promote discrimination, contempt or hatred for any persons.”
Plans called for “The Making of a War Criminal” to be one of four traveling educational exhibitions shown in schools and on municipal property. It features an image of Hitler saluting and a photo of Ahmadinejad with a burning devil over his shoulder.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies has asked Toronto city officials to reverse their decision.
If the Iranian leader’s threat to wipe Israel off the map is “not a call for genocide or another Holocaust, I don’t know what is,” said Avi Benlolo, the chief executive of the Canadian branch of the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center, told the National Post newspaper.
“We did this exhibit to press this case,” Benlolo said. “It needs to be seen in public spaces.”
City Councilor Mike Feldman, who is Jewish, agreed with Toronto’s decision to reject the exhibit.
“It’s the city’s responsibility to try to maintain a peace within the city,” he said. “The city is erring on the side of caution. If we display that, then what will prevent any display from anyone else?”
The exhibit, he added, would provide a platform for Ahmadinejad’s “very dangerous” ideas.