Jewish Leaders Applaud the Passage of United Nations General Assembly Resolution to Condemn Holocaust Denial

New York, NY

. . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

 "We are pleased by the United Nations General Assembly vote today to approve the historic resolution promoting Holocaust education and combating antisemitism at this critical time for Jews across the world.

This vote marks only the second occasion since Israel's establishment that the UN has adopted an Israeli initiated resolution - the first and only other instance was in 2005, to designate January 27th as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It also coincides with the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, where the Nazi plan of systematic state-sponsored persecution and the eventual murder of six million European Jews was approved.

This resolution, the first of its kind, offers a clear definition of Holocaust denial as adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and provides substantial resources through the UN Outreach Program on the Holocaust for countries and other relevant UN bodies to develop their own programs to promote Holocaust remembrance and combat antisemitism. The adoption of this definition, which was developed by IHRA’s transparent and democratic process, speaks to the importance of the IHRA’s prominence in fighting Holocaust denial and antisemitism.  This resolution also takes the additional and necessary step of highlighting the responsibility of social media companies for their role in spreading misinformation about the Holocaust and the proliferation of dangerous conspiracy theories on those same platforms, which routinely unfairly blame Jews for problems around the world.

The coronavirus pandemic has greatly exacerbated antisemitism. This remains a critical time for the American Jewish community, where this weekend a gunman struck fear into our hearts by attacking a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas during Shabbat services and holding 3 congregants and their rabbi hostage.  We are thankful that the hostages escaped unharmed and also for the efforts of law enforcement and many organizations in our community that contributed to this outcome.

Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, Monsey, and now Colleyville, can never become the new normal for our community. It​ is vital to commit additional resources to better secure our facilities and fight the age-old scourge of antisemitism, especially when it appears in the form of online conspiracy theories, which can originate anywhere and spread like wildfire from keyboard to keyboard.

This United Nations resolution affirms a commitment to oppose revisionist history, protect Jewish communities, to honor Holocaust survivors, and to preserve the legacy of the millions of lives lost to genocide. It sets a new international standard in the fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial and reinforces the solemn pledge: Never Again."

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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