UN votes against Holocaust Denial

On Thursday 20th January, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to combat Holocaust denial. It is urging member states and social media organisations to participate in this effort and help in the struggle against a rising tide of antisemitism.

The resolution was proposed by Israel and Germany, in response to what they see as a dramatic increase in Holocaust denial. It ‘rejects and condemns without any reservation any denial of The Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part.’

This passed by consent of the 193 members of the General Assembly and sends a strong message against the denial or the distortion of historical facts. In particular, the death of six million Jewish people caught up in Nazi Germany’s campaign to eradicate the Jewish population of Europe.

UN Holocaust Denial ResolutionAn enlarged copy of the resolution (photo: Israel`s Mission to the UN)

The text of the resolution commends nations that preserve sites that once served as Nazi death camps and concentration camps and urges member states to provide educational programmes on The Holocaust.

As many as 114 countries co-sponsored the resolution. It was only Iran that publicly voiced its opposition – continuing the country’s long history of Holocaust denial. But because the government in Tehran has not paid its UN membership fees, its delegation was unable to call for a formal vote on the resolution.

In fact, this is only the second time that a UN resolution led by Israel has ever been passed.

The resolution helpfully clarifies that Holocaust denial is not merely bound to the claim that it did not take place or that its numbers were much smaller than official records state. It includes any attempt to assert that the Jewish people were not specifically targeted more than any other group:

“Holocaust denial refers specifically to any attempt to claim that the Holocaust did not take place,
and 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.”