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Iran launches second 2016 anti-Israel cartoon contest themed 'Zionist Caliphate'

An Iranian man takes a photo of an anti-Israel cartoon displayed at the second international exhibition of drawing and cartoons on the Holocaust in Tehran on May 14, 2016.
AFP/ ATTA KENARE
Contest launched two weeks after exhibition of anti-Israel and Holocaust themed cartoons in Tehran on May 14

Iran's Cultural-Art Masaf Institute is launching an international cartoon contest with the theme "Zionist Caliphate," Iran's FARS news agency reported Tuesday.

The announcement comes nearly two weeks after an exhibition for another anti-Israel and Holocaust themed cartoon contest opened in Tehran on May 14, 2016.

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.

UNESCO slammed the exhibition for going "against the universal values of tolerance and respect, and runs counter to the action led by UNESCO to promote Holocaust education, to fight anti-Semitism and denial.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also denounced the exhibition, saying that the Islamic Republic is in the midst of preparing for another Holocaust of the Jewish people.

According to FARS, the Cultural-Art Masaf Institute released a statement on the new contest in which it said that the contest's theme focuses on "Zionism, terrorism and racism" and "ISIL terrorism and genocide in the name of religion and to the benefit of the Zionists," using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State. There is also a category for caricatures which calls for submissions depicting Theodor Herzl and England's Queen Elizabeth II.

Theodor Herzl is considered to be the visionary behind modern Zionism.

The submissions are to be sent to a group which calls itself "Cartoons Clan" for review. On its website, Cartoons Clan describes itself as " a group of cartoonists and caricaturists from all over the world who have gathered together to fight against any kind of racism and terrorism."

"In our point of view, Zionism is the worst kind of racism and is the enemy of the world’s big religions," the group continues on the website.

The winning entry will be awarded a $5,000 prize, while the following top four entries will receive $500 each. The winner of the caricatures category will receive $1,000.

FARS said that the deadline to submit entries was June 16, but did not say when the submissions would be exhibited.

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