The United Nations General Assembly made history on Jan. 20 for the adoption of an Israeli resolution opposing Holocaust denial and distortion. Traditionally, the United Nations has been notoriously known as a global platform for anti-Israel sentiments. And now, for the second time ever, the UNGA is adopting a resolution proposed by the state of Israel.
The resolution was passed on the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference where Nazi German leaders fatefully created the "Final Solution," resulting in the extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of other minorities. Astonishingly, the consensus vote taken from all UN Member States was unanimously in favor of passing the resolution. The only country to object was the Islamic Republic of Iran, current arch enemy of Israel, whose vote was not counted due to the government's failure to pay UN membership dues.
The resolution clearly defines what distortion or denial of the Holocaust entails: 1. Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany; 2. Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources; 3. Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide; 4. Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event; and 5. 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.
Perhaps the crux of the resolution is an appeal not exclusive to UN members but also to information and communication technology companies. In the Information Age, misinformation has become increasingly problematic, especially regarding the Holocaust and the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent studies have found through 2020 and 2021, over 1.2 million online discussions took place linking the Holocaust and the pandemic, prompting over 63 million digital engagements (likes, shares, comments, et cetera). One area of particular concern is the careless appropriation of Holocaust symbols, such as the Jewish Star, which is especially distressing to Holocaust survivors.
The spirit of the Israeli resolution, which received overwhelming global support, is fueled by the growing concerns of trending Holocaust misrepresentations. In his speech when the proposal was made, Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan postulated, "We now live in an era in which fiction is now becoming fact and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory."
As survivors pass away, Christians must do our part to ensure the Holocaust is remembered by truthful record-keeping, ensuring history does not repeat itself. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is committed to promoting justice and fighting against global anti-Semitism, including Holocaust distortion and denial.
Dr. Susan M. Michael is USA Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and host of the Out of Zion podcast. Since 2006, the ICEJ has partnered with the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem to improve Holocaust education within the church and fight modern-day antisemitism.
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