The leading Holocaust revisionist group in America is set to go on the offensive this month with a meeting in New York to discuss the “Jewish-Zionist role in fomenting war in the Middle East” and a protest in Los Angeles at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The Institute for Historical Review argues that 6 million Jews were not murdered by the Nazis, and refutes the existence of gas chambers and extermination camps. The New York meeting, scheduled for July 16, will feature the institute’s director, Mark Weber. According to a circulated e-mail about the event, he will discuss the “Israel-first neo-conservatives who successfully pressed for the U.S. assault against Iraq and are now pushing for an American strike against Iran and Syria.” The e-mail did not reveal the planned location.
The protest at the Wiesenthal Center, slated for July 29, is being billed on the group’s Web site as a “rally for justice and peace.” The group is charging the Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish organization dedicated to Holocaust education and human rights work, with a “record of deceit and lies in support of war, Zionist oppression and Jewish supremacism.”
In recent years, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based institute has applied its vehement criticism of Jews to current debates over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and America’s Middle East policy. In the spring of 2004, the organization placed an ad for Roger Garaudy’s book, “The Founding Myths of Modern Israel,” in the liberal weekly The Nation, which then rejected the rest of the ordered ads after criticism from Jewish communal leaders.
The institute “has tried over the years in various ways to cloak its hatred in pseudo-academic terminology,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “If there is anti-war sentiment, they want to cash in on that anti-war sentiment” and say that “this is a war in which American blood is being shed not for American interests but because of the ‘diabolical machinations’ of the Zionists.”
Cooper said that the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance sees about 1,000 visitors a day but the institution did not plan to alter operations in expectation of the protest.
“We’ll be open for business,” Cooper said. “Our main concerns are not for the extremists and overt Jew haters. It’s for mainstream Americans.”