by: Janet Aslin
Friday, 21 January 2022 | An Israeli-initiated resolution that sets forth a clear definition of Holocaust denial as well as steps to combat it passed the UN General Assembly by consensus on January 20. That date was significant as it marked the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference when 15 senior Nazi leaders planned the infamous Final Solution, consigning millions of Jews to death during the Holocaust.
Nearly two-thirds of the UN’s 193 member states signed on as co-sponsors of the Israeli-led UN resolution A76/L130. Many nations requested floor time to speak in its support. Iran, the only country in open and vocal opposition to the bill, was unable to request a roll call vote because it has been stripped of voting rights after non-payment of its UN dues for the past two years.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, introduced the resolution by recounting the poignant story of Chaim, a Holocaust survivor from Transylvania whose first wife and eight children were murdered. Their history is known because of the methodical record keeping on the part of the Nazis. Adding a personal note, Erdan later revealed that Chaim was his grandfather.
Erdan remarked, “Nevertheless, we now live in an era in which fiction is becoming fact, and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory. And as this happens, following the greatest crime in human history, now comes the greatest cover-up in human history. As the number of Holocaust survivors diminishes, Holocaust denial is growing at a terrifying speed.”
In addition to outright denial, there is downright distortion, questioning the veracity of the historical accounts. “People were killed, but systematic genocide? Concentration camps existed, but gas chambers? The Jews were targeted, but weren’t they to blame? While these distortions and lies differ from denial, they both stem from the same source of bigotry, hatred and vehement anti-Semitism,” Erdan continued.
The resolution defines Holocaust denial as the “ intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements.” It goes on to include examples such as the “gross minimization of the number of the victims, attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide, and statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event; and attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps.”
UN member states are urged to develop Holocaust education programs to ensure that future generations will not forget the lessons learned. In addition, the resolution calls for social media companies to take active measure to combat Holocaust denial or distortion, recognizing the important role social media plays in the shaping the beliefs of many in the world today.
The floor of the UN General Assembly has not always been friendly to Israel’s leaders so the willingness of 114 countries to co-sponsor an Israeli-initiated resolution is a heartening sign. Let us hope that the UN’s member states follow through with the steps of this resolution and continue to recognize the truth of what happened in the Nazi death camps. Holocaust denial is a blatant lie.
Posted on January 21, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 21, 2022)
Photo Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography/flickr.com
Photo License: flickr.com
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. All other materials are property of Bridges for Peace. Copyright © 2022.
Website Site Design by J-Town Internet Services Ltd. - Based in Jerusalem and Serving the World.