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  • Thumbnail for Using the Holocaust : how leaders in Israel and Iran have politicized history
    Using the Holocaust : how leaders in Israel and Iran have politicized history by Jones, Robert T.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s public statements denying the Holocaust and challenging Israel shocked the Western world. However, Ahmadinejad’s statements had precedents in the Middle East. Political leaders in Israel and Palestine have politicized the Holocaust since it occurred. Israeli leaders have used the memory of the Holocaust to establish international support for the Israeli state, while Palestinian leaders have challenged Israeli narratives to establish support for the Palestinian cause. In championing the Palestinian cause by questioning established narratives of the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad, too, sought to increase political support and fulfill political goals. The history of the Holocaust has been less important in Middle Eastern discourse than the political ends to which it has been applied.