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Reform Jewish Leader Condemns Latest Anti-Semitic Statement Made by Iranian President
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement earlier this week that the Holocaust was a “myth,” noting, "The danger of President Ahmadinejad’s statements is magnified by the fact that he leads a country that is moving closer to having the technology necessary to produce nuclear weapons."

Saperstein: This is more than an insult to the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide; it is a tragic reminder of the hateful lies about Jews that continue to be spread and accepted around the world.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Samantha Pohl: 202.387.2800

Washington, December 16, 2005 - On the occasion of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement earlier this week that the Holocaust was a “myth” Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued the following statement:

We condemn this latest onset of radical statements made this week by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a speech to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan questioning the reality of the genocide against the Jews in the Holocaust. To once again distort history by suggesting that the Holocaust is merely a “myth” promulgated by the West used to create the state of Israel is to dishonor the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and is a direct threat aimed at the Jewish people. This is more than an insult to the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide; it is a tragic reminder of the hateful lies about Jews that continue to be spread and accepted around the world.

The danger of President Ahmadinejad’s statements is magnified by the fact that he leads a country that is moving closer to having the technology necessary to produce nuclear weapons. We therefore urge members of Congress and the Bush Administration once again to support the Iran Freedom Support Act and other such legislation that would cut off monies that Iran could use to develop a nuclear arsenal. We welcome the European Union’s condemnation of President Ahmadinejad’s remarks and similar condemnations from Muslim and Christian leaders. We call on all international leaders to join in the repudiation of this anti-Semitism. Only through an unwavering and universal disavowal of xenophobia in all its forms can we hope to achieve a peaceful future that celebrates the diversity of humanity.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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