JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Sunday a Tehran anti-Israel cartoon contest themed around the Holocaust, accusing Iran of denying and belittling it as well as “preparing another Holocaust”.
The exhibition, totalling 150 entries from 50 countries, with many entries deriding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s Middle East policies, opened Saturday in Tehran.
“Over the weekend Iran convened a special Holocaust-denial cartoon contest,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting.
“We raise this here because it must be understood what our problem with Iran is,” he said.
“It is not just its policy of subversion and aggression in the region; it is the values on which it is based. It denies and belittles the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust.”
Several cartoons on display poke fun at Netanyahu, with one depicting the Israeli prime minister as a member of the Islamic State group and holding a sabre in his hand.
Another shows a map of the Middle East with a coffin bearing the word “Holocaust” flattening Palestinians in place of what should be the country of Israel.
The Iranian government has distanced itself from the contest, which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said was organised by a non-governmental organisation without any support from the authorities.
Netanyahu had fiercely opposed last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which saw the lifting of international sanctions in return for Tehran ensuring that its nuclear programme remains purely for civilian use.