A new Iranian website that denies and mocks the Holocaust with anti-Semitic cartoons provoked outrage in Israel on Thursday.
Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said the site – which features sketches of long-nosed Jews conspiring to create "the great lie" of the Holocaust – is yet another example of Iran's continued contempt of the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.
The semiofficial 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.
"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-a-vis the Holocaust, Jews and Israel," Yad Vashem said.
It called it "the latest salvo emanating from Iran that denies the facts of the Holocaust and attempts to influence those who are ignorant of history."
Iranian authorities would have had to approve the creation of the new site, but not necessarily its content and there was no indication the government was connected to it.
However, the views are in line with the government, which has repeatedly questioned or denied the Holocaust. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called the Holocaust a "myth," and Iran has also hosted a conference endorsing Holocaust denial.
The site, holocartoons.com, 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.
One image on the site shows an Israeli tank filing up at a Nazi gas station. Another shows a soldier with a Star of David on his helmet and a tank of Zyklon B on his back - the same chemical the Nazis used to kill Jews in gas chambers at their death camps during World War II.
The website's design also makes use of Nazi imagery, with the icon for flipping pages marked with a swastika.
Yad Vashem has a Farsi-language website dedicated to educating Iranians about the Holocaust.
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