International

United Nations approves resolution that condemns Holocaust denial

The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on Thursday that condemns any form of Holocaust denial and calls on social media companies to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion.

The resolution, sponsored by Israel, was approved by consensus without a formal vote being held. Iran “disassociated” from the resolution, according to The Associated Press.

The resolution calls on the 193 U.N. member states to “reject without any reservation any denial or distortion of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end.”

It also urged social media organizations “to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion by means of information and communications technologies and to facilitate reporting of such content,” and calls on member states to create educate future generations on the genocide.

Additionally, the member states expressed concern regarding “the growing prevalence of Holocaust denial or distortion through the use of information and communications technologies,” and said the Holocaust “will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.”

The resolution was approved exactly 80 years after top Nazi officials attended the Wansee Conference, where they coordinated the genocide of the Jewish people and talked about creating Nazi death camps, according to the U.N.

A group of Holocaust survivors were present when the body approved the resolution. U.N. General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid posted a photo on Twitter Thursday of him and a group of Holocaust survivors, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, whose parents are Holocaust survivors.

When introducing the resolution Erdan said “Holocaust denial has spread like a cancer, it has spread under our watch.”

The resolution comes after the U.S. witnessed a spike in antisemitism in May, when Israel and Hamas were clashing in the Gaza Strip. At the end of the month The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it had seen a 75 percent surge in antisemitic attacks in just two weeks.

In a report published in December the ADL said Holocaust denial content still remains on Facebook despite the platform enforcing a ban last year.

The resolution approval also follows an hours-long hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue, where a man held a rabbi and four congregants captive last weekend.

The FBI called the incident “a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

“We never lose sight of the threat extremists pose to the Jewish community and to other religious, racial, and ethnic groups,” the bureau added.

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