German TV broadcasts Iranian Holocaust denial (JERUSALEM POST) By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDT 03/26/12)
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BERLIN – German Iranians and German Jews on Sunday criticized ZDF
(Second German Television) for broadcasting without objection an
interview in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the
The interviewer was also slammed for failing to raise the repression
of Iran’s democracy movement.
The Holocaust is “a lie of Israel” that allows the Jewish state to
hurt the Palestinians, Ahmadinejad said in the ZDF interview
broadcasted last week.
Claus Kleber, a brand name journalist for ZDF, a tax-payer funded,
public station, aired the 45-minute interview on the popular news
Dieter Graumann, head of Germany’s 105,000 member Jewish community,
told the Bild am Sonntag paper that ZDF provided Ahmadinejad a
platform to spread his “poison.”
“I am very disappointed that a respected German journalist, and on
top of that, a public station, allowed the most brazen remarks from
notorious Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad to remain unchallenged,”
Cleber said he did not contradict Ahmadinejad because he did not want
to give him the opportunity to “fully spread his rubbish,” according
to a statement cited in the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel.
Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany, but Iranian diplomats and
politicians have denied the Shoah at state-funded events in Germany.
German authorities chose not to purse violations of the country’s
Holocaust denial law in 2008 against senior Iranian politician
Mohammad Larijani for denying the Holocaust at a German Foreign
Ministry event in Berlin. A year later, his brother, Iranian
parliament speaker Ali Larijani, issued statements containing
elements of Holocaust denial at the annual Munich Security
Conference, saying his country has “different perspectives on the
While Germany enforces its anti-Holocaust denial law against neo-
Nazis, the authorities fail to apply it to Iranian officials.
German-Iranian scholar Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh told the mass
circulation Bild in Sunday’s article that the ZDF interview
“Ahmadinejad was able to present himself as a quite friendly head of
state who presented Iran as the victim of an indiscriminate use of
Israeli state power. The interview was celebrated as a great success
in Iran and an unbelievable prize win for Ahmadinejad, and this was
made possible by a broadcast from our publicly funded television!” he
Wahdat-Hagh, who has written extensively about human-rights
violations in Iran and Islamic-animated anti-Semitism, is the author
of a new book, The Islamist Totalitarianism.
Omid Nouripour, a Bundestag deputy for the Green Party who was born
in Tehran, told Bild that the interview represents a “moral failure”
of Claus Kleber.
“Kleber did not cover the bloody repression of the protests against
the regime in Iran. That is a big journalistic mistake because the
human rights mistake cannot be separated from the nuclear weapons
questions,” Nouripour said.Iran´s president ended the interview
saying, "We very much like Germany. We like you very much [Mr.
Kleber]." (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/26/12)
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