Jerusalem: A new Iranian website that denies and mocks the Holocaust with cartoons showing Jews as hook-nosed worms burrowing holes through a history book provoked outrage in Israel on Thursday.
The site, holocartoons.com, features caricatures including a Jew with a hook nose and a black hat emblazoned with a Star of David tracing fake bodies on the ground at a concentration camp. The website design uses Nazi imagery, with the icon for flipping pages marked with a swastika.
"The vulgar and cynical approach of the website, a combination of Holocaust denial and distortion, illustrated with anti-Semitic caricatures, further illustrates Iran`s disregard for reality and truth vis-à-vis the Holocaust, Jews and Israel," Israel`s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said.
It called the site "the latest salvo emanating from Iran that denies the facts of the Holocaust and attempts to influence those who are ignorant of history”.
The semi-official Iranian Fars news agency reported that cartoonist Maziar Bijani launched the site and said it is financed by a non-governmental cultural foundation. The site has English, Arabic and Farsi versions.
Iranian authorities would have had to approve the creation of the new site, but not necessarily its content.
However, the views are in line with those of Iran`s clerical regime, which has repeatedly questioned or denied the Nazi genocide of six million Jews. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a "myth”, and Iran has also hosted a conference endorsing Holocaust denial.
The site opens with the Pink Panther theme song and a dedication to those who have been killed "under the pretext of the Holocaust”.
Iran accuses Israel of using the Holocaust as an excuse to abuse Palestinians and has compared Israeli soldiers to Nazi troops.