Israel to Bring Resolution on Holocaust Denial at UN

Logo of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Israel plans to introduce a resolution at the U.N. asking of member countries to commit to fighting Holocaust denial, Ambassador Gilad Erdan announced on Wednesday.

The pledge is to be based on the definition of Holocaust Denial of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which was adopted by 31 countries and has become a widely used standard. Signatory countries will be expected to take action to address the scourge, and will demand social media networks remove posts that fit the IHRA definition, Erdan told reporters.

As a resolution of the General Assembly, it will contain no provision for enforcement, but Erdan said he was hopeful that by setting a new “international standard” for what constitutes Holocaust denial, it will have enable a more effective response to the problem.

The vote is scheduled for January 20, the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference organized by the Nazis to carry out Hitler’s Final Solution.

The IHRA’s “Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion” describes denial as “discourse and propaganda that deny the historical reality, and the extent of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices during World War II, known as the Holocaust or the Shoah. Holocaust denial refers specifically to any attempt to claim that the Holocaust/Shoah did not take place.”

It goes on to say that “Holocaust denial may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation and torture) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people…

“A form of Holocaust denial can also include blaming the Jews for either exaggerating or creating the Shoah for political or financial gain as if the Shoah itself was the result of a conspiracy plotted by the Jews. In this, the goal is to make the Jews culpable and antisemitism once again legitimate.

“Distortion of the Holocaust refers, inter alia, to:

a) Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements; including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany;
b) Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources;
c) Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide;
d) Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event. Those statements are not Holocaust denial but are closely connected to it as a radical form of antisemitism. They may suggest that the Holocaust did not go far enough in accomplishing its goal of “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question”;
e) Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.”