CAPTION: 'AHMADINEJAD SAYS THE HOLOCAUST IS A MYTH'
Standing in the World
"President Lula's deranged foreign policy advisors lied by saying that Washington supported his mediation with the pariah of Tehran. ... The fact is that the U.S. and other Western powers consider the visit as offering legitimacy to the Iranian regime."
By Sérgio Malbergier*
Translated By Brandi Miller
November 24, 2009
Brazil - Folha - Original
My great-grandfather, concerned
about anti-Semitism and poverty, left his small village in southern Poland on his
way to America at the beginning of the last century. Like many of his
countrymen, he found a job in New York - at a garment factory. Religious Jews,
however, couldn't accept working on Saturdays, which is the day of rest in
Judaism, so he returned to Poland.
“He went back for Hitler to
kill him,” my grandmother Pessel (Paulina) said in her
yard in Niterói, where she told and retold the story
dozens of times in never-ending sorrow.
My great-grandfather is the
bearded man in the photo [below] and my grandmother is the smaller of the two
girls that are standing beside him. Aside from the two girls, the sister on my grandmother’s
lap and the son, all had the luck of fleeing Europe before the Nazi barbarism. The
others in the picture were killed in German extermination camps during the war
It's painful to imagine what
my grandmother (if she were alive) would feel watching the country that had
given them refuge and where she was brought up with a joy she has passed on to her
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, extending the red carpet to Iranian
dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an international pariah that denies and promotes
the denial of the Holocaust (the extermination of six million defenseless Jews
by Nazi Germany), a denial of the history of humanity and, on a more personal
level, of my grandmother and her immense suffering. Hers, mine, and that of
tens of thousands of Jewish Brazilians and millions of Brazilians of other faiths
who deplore the atrocities of the Nazis and those of the Iranian Islamic
theocracy against its own citizens.
Family of Sérgio Malbergier, before Nazi terror claimed
President Lula and his
diplomats are at the very least naive to argue that Ahmadinejad's
visit will elevate the image of Brazilian diplomacy.
The pariah of Tehran is
barred from Western capitals that practice responsible foreign policy due to
his extensive criminal record of torturing and killing hundreds of his regime's
opponents; because he was the winner of a contested election (probably stolen) in
which opposition protests were repressed with bullets and which Lula
irresponsibly likened to a battle between rival fans; his promotion of
international terrorism; and his bloody oppression of religious minorities; his
persecution of homosexuals (executed in public plazas) and of political
parties, especially those from the left.
But the Lula government,
poorly advised by the increasingly imbalanced group that controls its foreign
policy, argues that by granting state honors and a platform to this oppressor,
supporter of terrorists and denier of the absolute evil promoted by the Nazis, Ahmadinejad
could be moved to moderate his position.
First, Lula’s deranged
foreign policy advisors lied by saying that Washington supported his mediation with
Iran to try and persuade the country to abandon its clandestine and illegal
The fact is that the U.S. and
other Western powers, that are legitimately concerned about the prospect of a
belligerent Iranian regime (which threatens to destroy Israel and seeks the
nuclear means to make possible this new Holocaust) obtaining a nuclear bomb,
consider the visit as offering legitimacy to the Iranian regime.
negotiations with Iran that Lula is calling for began the day Obama took over at
the White House. The talks, led by the U.S., China, the United Kingdom, Russia,
France and Germany, are going nowhere, precisely because Tehran wants The Bomb
- and Lula and Itamaraty [Brazil's ministry of
Foreign Affairs] just pretend not to notice.
In the West, Ahmadinejad is received
only by neo-generalissimo Hugo Chávez and his satellite regimes. Barred
elsewhere, he seeks allies in South America and anywhere else he can find them.
What Ahmadinejad has to gain from
his visit to Brazil is clear to all: 1) Legitimacy from an emerging power that
still doesn’t know what to do with its new global influence gained, above all, due
to a powerful economy and because of the leadership and charisma of Lula
himself. 2) A valuable platform to freely and cynically speak of his “peaceful”
and “humanitarian” intentions, which are just the opposite. And even hitting at
Brazil’s historic allies like the U.S.
'IRAN AND THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY'
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Hosting Ahmadinejad Diminished Brazil's Standing in the World
Brazil Welcomes Ahmadinejad; Keeps Distance from 'English-Speaking World'
Arab Times, Kuwait:
Ahmadinejad is the New Saddam
El Tiempo, Colombia:
Obama Will 'Regret' Failure to 'Back Up' Colombia
Die Welt, Germany
'Zionist Cigarettes' and the Parlous State of Iran's Economy
Le Figaro, France:
America's Shift on Israeli Settlements Due to Iran
Le Figaro, France:
Tehran Blows a Golden Opportunity - Again
Iran Progress Shows Obama and Lula Made the Right Call
Brazil, however, can only lose
by this arrangement, such as its global image as a country of tolerance and defender
of human rights and democracy.
Today my grandmother more
than just an image in the yellowed photograph that accompanies this article.
She is a large part of me, which cries in sorrow to see the country that took
her in and gave birth to me extend a red carpet for a dictator who denies the greatest
hardship of her life and the lives of millions who were compelled to endure the
greatest iniquity ever committed by humanity.
receiving Ahmadinejad, Lula stained Brazil and made me embarrassed to be
there's something worse.
this shameless support for the Iranian weren’t enough, the Brazilian government
still felt a need to retaliate against Jewish leaders in Brazil who have
courageously and publicly protested the despot’s visit. During Israeli President
Shimon Peres' recent visit to Brazil, they were denied invitations to meet him.
For the Lula and his advisors,
the Jewish community should remain silent as their memory is trampled upon - which
is anything but democratic.
Sérgio Malbergier is the editor of the Money section of the
Folha de S. Paulo. He was the editor of the World section (2000-2004),
a correspondent in London (1994) and sent as a special correspondent to
countries like Iraq, Israel and Venezuela, among others. He has directed two
short films, A Árvore [The
Tree] (1986) and Carô no Inferno [Carô in Hell] (1987). He writes for Folha Online
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