JERUSALEM (JTA) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must publicly condemn Iran’s Holocaust denial and a cartoon contest that promotes it, Israel’s Knesset speaker said.
Yuli Edelstein in a letter dated Wednesday also called on Ban to take up the matter directly with Iran.
The Holocaust denial cartoon contest is sponsored by the Tehran municipality, according to reports.
“As head of an organization that in 2005 adopted the brave resolution to establish January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I ask that you exert your moral authority through public condemnation of the Iranian policy and by addressing this matter directly with Iran, as well,” Edelstein wrote to Ban. “There are no words strong enough to describe the contempt and profound disdain of the State of Israel, the Israeli people and many others the world over, to Iran’s insistent Holocaust denial.”
Some 839 works were submitted to last year’s contest, in part a reaction to the controversy over the media portrayal of the prophet Muhammad, including by the Charlie Hebdo French satirical magazine, the target of a terrorist attack in January 2015 that killed 11 staffers. The winner of the contest received $50,000.
Edelstein also called on Israeli lawmakers to decry Holocaust denial on social media on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, sent a letter to Ban last week calling on him to condemn the cartoon competition.