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Monday, October 27, 2008

MEMRI: New Iranian book denying Holocaust

MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, has released the following information about yet another Iranian Holocaust-denial initiative:
On September 26, 2008, the Iranian news channel IRINN reported on the publication, in Iran, of a 100-page book of cartoons on the Holocaust, which it billed as "tak[ing] a critical look at the great distortion of the historical event called the Holocaust, using the art of satire." The report included comments by an Iranian university chancellor, the book's cartoonist, and an Iranian cultural expert.

The news story also explained that the book "is an effort to expose the need to research the event of the Holocaust."

The following is the transcript of the report.

To view the clip, click here.

Voiceover: "The book Holocaust takes a critical look at the great distortion of the historical event called the Holocaust, using the art of satire. The book describes the history of the Holocaust and its obvious contradictions, by means of cartoons and satirical writing. It raises questions about the Zionist claims that six million Jews were murdered by the German Nazis during World War II."

Mohammad Saeed Jabalameli, chancellor of Iran University of Science and Technology: "In order to question the Holocaust, experts needed to conduct studies, but the important thing is that fundamental questions have arisen in recent years: If the Holocaust is indeed a historical event that really took place, why don’t they allow this issue to be investigated? Why don’t they let academic circles investigate this issue? This alone is an indication that it is a fabrication, with no historical validity."

Mazyar Bijani, the book's cartoonist: "[The book] contains 52 cartoons, accompanied by historical satirical writing, regarding the way the Holocaust issue arose and became connected to Palestine. The way they managed to link Palestine to the 'genocide' of the Jewish people in Europe constitutes, in our opinion, dark satire. There is no connection between them."


Voiceover: "The 100-page Holocaust book has been released in 7,000 copies."


Parvin Pour, Iranian cultural affairs expert: "Mr. Mazyar Bijani, our country’s talented cartoonist, drew the cartoons in the book, and the writing is by Mr. Omid Mehdinejad, one of our talented poets and satirist."

Voiceover: "The Holocaust is a pretext of the Zionists to occupy the land of the oppressed, fighting people of Palestine. The Holocaust book is an effort to expose the need to research the event of the Holocaust."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to Become a Clergyman in the United States

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Would you like to become a minister of the Gospel ? Would you like to have a license to perform marriages ? Plus, perhaps, a Ph.D. to make it all more legit ? No problem, it seems. Google "ordination," and, with just a few more clicks on the computer (and the payment of suitable fees, it goes without saying) and voila, you are the Rev. SoAndSo. To get a Ph.D., in apparently any subject, google "Ph.D." There are plenty of businesses out there to help you. "Earn a degree in 7 days, pay in installments." What could be simpler, what could be more legit ?

The rabbinate is no more difficult to obtain than the Christian ministry. There is, to cite just one example, the Rabbinical Seminary International, which will ease you into that honor. The Seminary does, it seems, require a full day of "intensive" attendance; well, nothing is that easy.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, well known for his espousal of Good Causes and Palestinian demands, was ordained as follows, according his own website:

For ... nineteen years he pursued a course of study that intensified his knowledge of Jewish texts and Jewish mysticism, until he received rabbinic ordination in 1995 from a Beyt Din (a religious court) of 3 rabbis (each of whom had received orthodox smicha).

It would be interesting to interview those three rabbis, but their identities have never been disclosed, as far as I know.

Cyntia Ozick has examined the bona fides, or otherwise, of Rabbi Lerner. Her essay appeared in a pamphlet "Israel's Jewish Defamers," published by CAMERA just now. She has kindly made it available to our readers here.

UPDATE May 28, 2010: Rabbi Lerner bestows his Human Rights prize on (Israel is a war criminal; Hang Blacks) Richard Goldstone. Click here.