Iran hosts anti-Israel cartoon contest

An Iranian man looks at an anti-Nazi cartoon showing late German dictator Hilter at the second international exhibition of drawing and cartoons on the Holocaust in Tehran on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 14 May 2016
0

Iran hosts anti-Israel cartoon contest

TEHRAN: A contest of anti-Israeli cartoons opened Saturday in the Iranian capital, with many entries deriding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s Middle East policies.
The exhibition, totaling 150 entries from 50 countries, was launched on the eve of the Palestinian commemoration of “nakba,” which means catastrophe in Arabic, marking the 1948 creation of Israel.
The Iranian government has distanced itself from the contest, which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said was organized by a non-governmental organization without any support from the authorities.
Several cartoons on display poke fun at Netanyahu, with one depicting the Israeli prime minister as a member of Daesh and holding a sabre in his hand.
Another shows a map of the Middle East with a coffin bearing the word “Holocaust” flattening Palestinians in place of what should be the country of Israel.
“We are not seeking to confirm or deny the Holocaust,” said organizer Massoud Shojaie Tabatabaie, himself a cartoonist.
He said the exhibition was a rebuttal to the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked last year.
The best cartoon will be awarded $12,000, said Tabatabaie. An earlier edition of the exhibition was held in 2006. He said the contest was being organized by a non-government organization “that is not controlled by the Iranian government. Nor is it endorsed by the Iranian government.”
Asked why Iran has allowed the exhibition to go ahead, Zarif said: “Why does the US have the Ku Klux Klan?
“Is the government of the United States responsible for the fact that there are racially hateful organizations in the US? Don’t consider Iran a monolith. The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about.”


UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

Updated 5 min 48 sec ago
0

UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

UNITED NATIONS: The UN envoy for Libya warned Tuesday the battle for Tripoli was “just the start of a long and bloody war” and called for immediate steps to cut off arms flows fueling the fighting.
Addressing the Security Council, Ghassan Salame said many countries were supplying weapons to the UN-recognized government in Tripoli and forces led by Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 to seize the capital but his forces have been bogged down in the southern outskirts of Tripoli.
“The violence on the outskirts of Tripoli is just the start of a long and bloody war on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, imperilling the security of Libya’s immediate neighbors and the wider Mediterranean region,” Salame said.
Without immediate action to stop the flow of arms, “Libya will descend into civil war which could potentially lead to a Hobbesian all-against-all state of chaos or partition of the country,” he said.
Salame also said that Daesh has begun to reappear in Libya, and have set up flags in the south of the country.
The Security Council failed last month to agree on a draft resolution demanding a cease-fire in Libya and a return to political talks to end the conflict.
Russia refused to include any mention of Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli while the United States said it needed more time to consider the situation, diplomats said.
The envoy urged the council to set up a commission of inquiry to “determine who has taken up arms” and prevent indicted war crimes suspects from taking part in military operations.
More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.