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Jewish Journal

Why no media outrage at Khamenei’s Holocaust denial tweet?

by Karmel Melamed

January 4, 2014 | 11:20 pm

Just when you thought Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic regime had turned a corner and was now “better” and “kinder” because of media reports last year due to the new supposedly moderate President Hassan Rouhani, think again! The Iranian regime last month showed its true face when the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sent out a disgusting tweet via Twitter praising a dead Holocaust denier and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Wake up America, the evil Iranian regime has not changed…they still hate Jews and continue to deny the Holocaust!


This past September almost every single U.S. and European news media outlet was abuzz when a supposed tweet from Rouhani sending Rosh Hashana greetings to Jews worldwide. Thereafter Rouhani’s advisors quickly claimed in the press that he did not have a Twitter account and did not send the Rosh Hashana tweet to Jews. Nevertheless this move by Rouhani was claimed by U.S. media pundits and Middle East experts to be a major “breakthrough” in the Iranian regime’s attitude toward Jews and Rouhani supposedly being a “kinder and friendlier” Iranian leader than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had denied the Holocaust.  While the Iranian regime’s propaganda wing continues to try to paint the regime and Rouhani was “kinder and friendlier” through social media sites, press releases and their television broadcasts to the West, the true ugly and hate-filled nature of the Iranian regime still continues to display its true face. This was evident last month when Khamenei (or his cohorts who operate his Twitter account) sent out a revolting message via Tweeter praising the late French Holocaust denier and anti-Semite Roger Garaudy. The vial Garaudy was a big time celebrity in Iran and hailed as a hero by the Iranian regime for his anti-Semitic views after he was convicted in France of hate speech and his Holocaust denial books were banned there. Khamenei hosted Garaudy in Teheran and praised him for his “courage to tell the truth about the Holocaust never occurring”. In his December 16 tweet, Khamenei marked the anniversary of Garaudy’s trial and sent a message with the above picture that included a quote from one of the Ayatollah's own speeches, “The Zionists are just like the Nazis”.


What has been shocking and surprising for many of us journalists who follow what is unfolding in Iran is the lack of press coverage and attention U.S. and European media outlets have given to this disturbing tweet from Iran’s Supreme Leader. Why don’t editors at the New York Times, CNN, BBC and the Associated Press give the same attention to Khamenei’s hate tweet that they give to Rouhani’s supposed “loving tweets for Rosh Hashana and Christmas”? Why have Western news media outlets ignored the true face of this notorious regime that continues to proudly deny the Holocaust? Why have there been no editorial pieces and opinion pieces online or in print media condemning Khamenei and asking the Obama administration why it continues to negotiate with a regime whose leader proudly denies the Holocaust? The Jewish press and Israeli press have covered/opined about Khamenei‘s Holocaust denial tweet, but where is the outrage from the non-Jewish world about Khamenei’s words and messages of hate? Why is there a double standard for their coverage of Iranian leaders in the Western news media outlets?

Not only should Khamenei’s revolting Holocaust denial tweet be condemned, but the Western media’s lack of proper coverage of this tweet also be criticized. More importantly it is sadly ironic that while Khamenei continues to use Tweeter to his heart’s content to spread his disturbing messages of hate, yet at the same time he denies average Iranian citizens the same right to freely use Tweeter to voice their discontent with the Iranian regime by electronically blocking social media sites throughout Iran. Lastly I am still shocked and surprised that the Obama administration has continued to negotiate with the Iranian regime that has still not refrained from its denial of the Holocaust and promotion of anti-Semitic ideas. These are the exact reasons why many in the free world are skeptical of the Iranian regime and do not want to see its leadership with nuclear weapons capabilities.
 

One can only hope that there are still some real mainstream journalists and editors who are not comatose about the Iranian regime and will bring to the world’s attention Khamenei’s disgusting words and genocidal intentions. We in the U.S. cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand and disregard these clear messages of destruction and hate coming from the Iranian regime.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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