September 22, 2008
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
New York, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
Only today you have heard from The American Jewish Committee that it is appalled to have learned that the President of the General Assembly, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, has agreed to speak at a dinner in honor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, a person whose blatant Holocaust denial has been rejected by you, the Security Council, and the General Assembly. As the AJC notes, President Ahmadinejad has termed the Holocaust a "fairy tale," and has called it a "fake."
The AJC notes that General Assembly Resolution 60/7 "rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part … [that] General Assembly Res. 61/255 specifically calls on states ‘unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event.’ Your statement that Holocaust denial is ‘not acceptable’ graces the home page of the UN's Holocaust Remembrance site”
The AJC further states: “Mr. Secretary General, under your able leadership, the UN has been clear in its rejection of Holocaust denial. You have reminded states that the Holocaust is ‘a unique and undeniable tragedy.’ The presence of the President of the General Assembly at an event in honor of Mr. Ahmadinejad would make a mockery of you, the United Nations, and the nations and leaders who have made a point of rejecting Holocaust denial whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is made.”
Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial. Where will it ever end? Perhaps it will end the day that the American Jewish Committee, or one academic somewhere on earth, provides you – us – with the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Over the past few months I have asked some 1,500 academics to provide such a name, with proof, but none has responded. Why?
Do you think that might be one reason that President Ahmadinejad takes the orthodox Holocaust story to be something of a “fairy tale,” something of a “fake?”
The Holocaust story was originally exploited to morally justify the conquest of Arab land in Palestine by European Jews. Subsequently one U.S. administration after another has supported the catastrophic U.S. alliance with Israel against the Palestinians. If there were to be an open debate on the Holocaust, rather than censorship of questions about the Holocaust, it might bring about an open debate on the U.S. alliance with Israel and the rest of the appalling U.S. interventions against Arabs and other Muslims in that part of the world.
Mr. Secretary-General: not allowing a free exchange of ideas about any historical question is censorship pure and simple and goes against the UNESCO mandate to encourage free expression and a free press. I do not see how you can disagree. Would you like to talk about it?
Bradley R. Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust < www.codoh.com >
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
The Moral Challenge: To advance the UNESCO mandate to
encourage freedom of expression, not to a preferred class,
but to all.