Jerusalem Post

March 25, 2001

Beirut ban on hate conference applauded

By Tom Tugend

LOS ANGELES (March 25) -- Lebanon's decision to ban a Beirut conference by Holocaust deniers has been applauded by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The planned conference on "Revisionism and Zionism," scheduled for March 31 to April 3, was organized by the Institute for Historical Review, a California-based group which denies the veracity of the Holocaust.

"We are grateful to Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon that his government has moved to bar this 'hatefest' from taking place on Lebanese soil," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. "The last thing the Middle East needs now is a transnational chorus of racists and bigots pouring more fuel on the fires of hatred."

The Wiesenthal Center first alerted Lebanese and Swiss authorities in January about the planned conference, which was being coordinated by Jürgen Graf, a convicted Swiss extremist, who fled to Tehran after being sentenced for Holocaust denial.