Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Zero Degree Turn", the Iranian Shindler's List

Remember this cartoon?

It was the winner of the International Holocaust Cartoon Competition, sponsored by the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri to answer the publication of 12 cartoons mocking/denigrating Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in Sept 2005.

Statement of the artist, Abdellah Derkaoui : "I want to express my total heartfelt sympathy with the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust who suffered the greatest crime against humanity under the Nazis. Nobody can deny that more than six million people were massacred during the second world war by the devil Hitler and his Nazi henchmen." Continued here.

At the time, many westerners were surprised that the winning entry was so sympathetic both to Jews and to the Holocaust. They are about to be surprised again.

"Zero Degree Turn" is an Iranian Shindler's List, a government-made miniseries airing on the Iranian state-run television. Based on a true story of diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Paris in the 1940s who gave out about 500 Iranian passports to Jews to help them to escape, it is a fictionalized account of one of those Iranian diplomats who decides to forge Iranian passports for French Jews.

Reading about it, I was reminded that Iran was the only Middle East country on this list to hold spontaneous candlelight vigils for victims of the WTC 9/11 attacks this year, and I can't help wondering how many of them listen to their leaders on TV and think, just as we do, "I sure hope the rest of the world isn't basing its opinion of Iranians on what this idiot says."

From Cliff at Rusty Idols earlier today : "the biggest objection of the 'bomb Iran' crowd may be that the show doesn't fit the narrative of genocidal Nazi Iran."

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