Neturei Karta defends Holocaust denial conference

JTA/December 14, 2006

A fervently Orthodox fringe sect defended its decision to attend a Holocaust denial conference in Iran.

Ilan Deutch, a spokesman for the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group, said in an interview Thursday that members of the group went to the controversial Tehran parley this week as part of its efforts to “prove” that the Holocaust has been misused to build political support for Israel.

Asked on Israel Radio how he could rub shoulders with those who say the Holocaust was fabricated or exaggerated, Deutch said, “For the sake of saving Jews from Zionism, you have to do these things sometimes.”

According to Deutch, Neturei Karta believes Jews would be better off without a homeland, living as minorities around the world.

He resisted calls by the interviewer to apologize to Holocaust survivors for Neturei Karta’s attendance at the event, whose host, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has described the Nazi genocide as a myth and called for the destruction of Israel.

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