Israel to propose UN resolution adopting definition of Holocaust denial

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Israel will bring a resolution aimed at combating Holocaust denial before the United Nations General Assembly for a vote later this month, Ambassador Gilad Erdan announces.

The resolution will provide a definition for Holocaust denial, using the working definition put together by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. It will provide actions expected of signatory countries in order to address the phenomenon, and it will demand social media networks remove posts that fall under the IHRA definition, Erdan says in a briefing with reporters.

The envoy says the decision to advance the resolution followed a “dramatic rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial” in recent years and particularly following last year’s Gaza conflict.

Erdan acknowledges that like all GA resolutions, this one will not come with an enforcement mechanism. However, he expresses hope that by setting a new “international standard” for what constitutes as Holocaust denial and for how social media companies are meant to act in response the resolution will have significant ramifications on the discourse moving forward.

If it passes as Erdan anticipates, the initiative will be just the second time since Israel’s establishment that a resolution submitted by Jerusalem has been adopted by the GA. The first time came in 2005 when the body passed an Israeli resolution declaring January 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp — as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The vote will be held on January 20 — the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference organized by the Nazis to coordinate the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution.

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