Israel is lobbying the United Nations General Assembly for support of a resolution against Holocaust denial that Jerusalem is advancing.
While the Holocaust is one of the most documented atrocities in human history, Holocaust denial continues to thrive, especially online and among radical Islamists and Neo-Nazis. The vote on the Israel-initiated resolution against Holocaust denial is expected to take place at the UN on Jan. 20, which marks the 80th anniversary of the infamous Wannsee Conference in a Berlin suburb where the Nazi leadership in January 1942 decided to annihilate the Jews of Europe.
By the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Nazis and their allies had murdered approximately 6 million Jews, constituting one third of the Jewish people.
Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan stressed the importance of fighting Holocaust denial in an era with numbers of survivors declining and international polls indicating considerable ignorance about the Holocaust among young people in the West and beyond.
“With every year that passes, the number of Holocaust survivors diminishes. These conditions, alongside the increasing way social media has come to dominate the conversation, have created a vile breeding ground for denial, lies, and historical distortion regarding the Holocaust. These are critically dangerous trends, which this resolution aims to combat,” said Erdan.
Erdan also stressed the importance of establishing universal consensus on Holocaust denial as an unacceptable red line in the international community.
“The passing of this resolution is of great importance so that the shocking phenomenon of Holocaust denial becomes a red line in the international arena. The UN resolution will set a new international standard for combating this terrible trend and will hold everyone, including countries and internet companies, responsible for fighting Holocaust denial and teaching the younger generation about what really happened to the Jewish people and what the background to these heinous acts was,” the Israeli ambassador stated.
“I hope that even countries with whom we don’t have relations will understand the importance of this resolution… and decide to vote in favor,” Erdan added.
The Israeli ambassador believes that as many as 160 out of 193 UN member states will support the resolution against Holocaust denial. If Erdan is correct and the UN approves the Israel-initiated resolution, it would be only the second time in history that the United Nations adopts a resolution advanced by the Jewish state. The first time was in 2005 when the UN General Assembly adopted Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
While UN resolutions on Israel and the Middle East tend to disproportionally single out the Jewish state for condemnation, Holocaust denial is widely opposed by the West and most other nations in the world.
Following the historic Arab-Israeli Abraham Accords in 2020, an increasing number of Arab and Muslim states are establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and at least some of them could potentially support the Israeli resolution such as Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. Already in 2018, Morocco became the first Arab state to add Holocaust studies in its official educational school curriculum.
While Saudi Arabia and Israel have still not made their covert ties official, the Saudis are increasingly moving in the direction of normalization with Israel and could potentially abstain instead of voting against the Israeli resolution. Such a move would also benefit Saudi Arabia’s strained relations with the Biden administration.
On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which threatens to wipe Israel off the map and denies the Holocaust, will most likely vote against the resolution alongside other radical regimes such as North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. It is unknown how Arab countries without ties to Israel will vote, such as Iraq, Libya, Algeria or Tunisia.
While the world is divided on current Middle Eastern issues, most governments in the world identify the dangers of Holocaust denial and will likely vote in favor of the Israeli resolution.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.