Mahmoud al-Safadi, a Palestinian recently freed after 18 years in an Israeli jail, wrote an open letter to Iranian President Ahmadinejad calling his stance on the Holocaust a “great disservice to popular struggles the world over.” “Perhaps you see Holocaust denial as an expression of support for the Palestinians,” he writes. “Here, too, you are wrong….Our success and our independence will not be gained by denying the genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people.” Safadi says that reading the works of Arab intellectuals helped convince him that the Holocaust was a historical fact.
An outspoken Palestinian lawyer was hoping to challenge Holocaust deniers during a provocative conference that opens in Iran Monday. But Sunday Khaled Kasab Mahameed learned from the Iranian Foreign Ministry – which had invited him to speak – that he would not receive a visa. Mahameed lives in Israel, where he has established the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education, the Arab world’s first Holocaust museum, in Nazareth.