Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

Beirut Revisionist Conference


As-Safir (Beirut, Lebanon -- Internet edition, page 1)
March 10, 2001

[Translation from the Arabic]

Organizers of the 'Revisionism and Zionism' Conference Confirm That It Will Be Held in Beirut at the End of March, And Accuse Washington of Hypocrisy and a Double Standard

Hisham Melhem (Washington)

The organizers of the "Zionism and Revisionism" conference -- who criticize the use the Nazi "Holocaust" by Israel and Jews for political and financial purposes -- have confirmed that the conference will take place in Beirut at the end of this month. They leveled strong criticism of American Jewish organizations and the American government for demanding that the Lebanese government ban the conference. They urged the Lebanese government to treat this demand "with the contempt that it deserves."

A statement issued by the American Institute for Historical Review, which has joined the Swiss organization Vérité et Justice in organizing the conference, criticized the objections made against this conference by three Jewish organizations, and noted that these objections prompted the American government and some members of Congress to demand that Lebanon ban the conference. As evidence of this they cited the As-Safir report of last Saturday.

Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, who had read an English translation of the As-Safir report, said that the American Zionist organizations use a double standard when they ask Lebanon "to ban this peaceful meeting organized by private groups." In this regard Weber noted that similar meetings had been held by his organization in the United States and about 20 [sic] other countries.

The IHR statement continued: "For these Jewish organizations, which strongly support the criminal and repressive policies of Israel, to demand anything of Lebanon, a country that has repeatedly been a victim of Zionist aggression, constitutes outrageous arrogance."

Weber, who will participate in the conference, accused American officials of hypocrisy in attempting to ban such a conference in Beirut, particularly given that it would be perfectly legal if held in the United States. In a telephone interview yesterday with As-Safir, Weber said that he had made several calls to the American Department of State and had sent them a letter on this matter, but so far had not received any response, and he expressed his displeasure at this silence.

Weber added in his statement: "This outrageous effort to suppress freedom of expression only further emphasizes the need for such a conference. We trust that Lebanese authorities will treat this Zionist demand with the contempt that it deserves."

When Weber was asked about the reasons for holding the conference in Beirut, he said that there were two aims: the first is to strengthen cooperation between western writers and historians and their Arab and Muslim counterparts; the second is "growing awareness in the world, including in the Arab world, of the way that the Holocaust is used as a political and financial weapon to support Zionist and Israeli interests."

Concerning possible negative consequences of the conference for Lebanon, Weber said that this matter must be left up to the Lebanese government. However, he dismissed charges that the conference organizers deny the Nazi Holocaust. He said, "This is not true. We do not deny that the Holocaust took place. But we disapprove of the use of the Holocaust for political purposes, in particular as the Holocaust is presented as if it were the only crime that took place during the Second World War." He said that Israel and the Zionist organizations around the world exploit the Holocaust "to blackmail European countries and companies to pay billions of dollars to Israel."

Weber's Institute has published numerous studies refuting numerous accepted notions concerning the Holocaust. But critics of the conference say that these positions as well as those of many conference participants mean that in practice they do deny the occurrence of the Holocaust and its agreed-upon historical significance.

The conference will take place somewhere in Beirut from March 31 to April 3. Among the participants will be a number of writers and historians, most of them from Europe, and including the French writer Roger Garaudy, author of Founding Myths of Modern Israel, who denies the occurrence of the Holocaust, who was fined $40,000 by a French court because of the book. Other participants are the French writer Robert Faurisson and German lawyer Horst Mahler. The Institute statement does not include names of any Arab or Muslim participants.

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