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July 4, 2016 12:25 pm

Leading Jewish Group Seeks to Keep Holocaust Programming Away From UNESCO

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Yad Vashem memorial Memorial President Eric de Rothschild together with diplomats, laureates, speakers and members. Photo: Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Yad Vashem Memorial President Eric de Rothschild, with diplomats, laureates, speakers and members. Photo: Simon Wiesenthal Center.

A major Jewish human rights group and other organizers of an annual Holocaust essay competition moved this year’s event from its usual venue at UNESCO headquarters in the French capital to the Paris Memorial to the Shoah — as a result of the body’s recent anti-Israel resolution.

Simon Wiesenthal Centre-Europe (SWC), the Association Verbe et Lumière-Vigilance (VL-V), the Russian Holocaust Centre (RHC) and new partner Yad Vashem France decided against holding the Russian University Holocaust Essay Competition at its original location due to an anti-Israel UNESCO resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“There are six million reasons to keep Holocaust programming away from UNESCO at this time,” said VL-V Treasurer Edouard Fridman.

Historian Shmuel Trigano said, “The end of the Jewish state and the two temples in antiquity was described as a ‘Churban’ or destruction, hinting at a parallel with the present delegitimization of Israel and the UNESCO deletion of the Jewish narrative.”

SWC Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels added, “The forthcoming UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Istanbul [is] another expected arena for the identity theft of the Jewish narrative.”

The delegations to UNESCO present at the event — Russia, the US, Germany, Armenia and Israel — vowed to find a solution to bring the program back to its original venue next year, according to the SWC.

The UNESCO resolution, adopted on April 15, condemned Israel for its actions in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as referring to the Temple Mount — the holiest site in Judaism — as the al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al Sharif and the area around the Western Wall as al-Buraq Plaza.

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  • Just read of police misuse of force in US. The recall of how a little becomes gross. KrystalNacht into Shoa.
    We’d best be all eyes.

  • Our cultural mindset erases Human Decency. A world police state with no regard for civil rights is forthcoming. “Those who forget history are damned to repeat it.”
    Adonai help us.

  • “..I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps ..oppressor ..never ..victim. Silence encourages ..tormentor ..never ..tormented.” Elie Wiesel.

    I kind of guess I have taken sides although, I was always given to believe we are all created equal, and as such, there is no requirement to find fault in other’s. We need to look to our own failings and attempt to ensure it does not impede upon the progress, person or ability of anyone to live freely. In as much as anyone can know another Human Being through corresponding with them, I knew Elie Wiesel. I found him warm and generous and full of good advice. I have had the benefit of his insight and over view of the subject of The Holocaust, not only to feed my need for comprehension but to acknowledge the clear Fact that Elie Wiesel emerged from its midst not bitter, not hate filled but forgiving and Tolerant. His ability to stand amidst the cries of the World and share with it a better way, exemplifies his status as Humane, Tolerant and worthy of all and any acclaim. I am awaiting a response from Elie at this moment to do with my work on Belzec. I will assume that his response will be carefully considerate, precise and filled with the humanistic desire to impart more of what he Knew to add to what I, and so many others, need to know of! Bu then, and what I hadn’t realised is that Elie had already replied to my qesution and it is detailed below.

    “..For ..Survivors ..nightmare belongs to ..night ..its mysterious kingdom. Death no longer lies in wait. ..enemy no longer has a hold on them. ..past. ..Carried away by ..dead ..entombed in what is already considered ancient history. ..Survivors need to be defended much as ..victims long ago. With one difference ..for ..victims is too late. For ..Survivors is getting late. Their number decreases. ..not many left ..fewer and fewer. Those who have come out of Majdanek ..Belzec ..die again and again ..every time they join ..silent processions they never really left.” Elie Wiesel.

    This is but a brief response to an inordinately tragic event. I will expand further my need to state my grief over this Man’s loss to us all. The World is somehow deeper into despair with the loss of such a light whose brilliance has been well captured in his Works. We all know of Night, but we should share All Rivers Run to The Sea or A Jew Today and meet the Man of Humanity who could have been bitter but shared a compassionate nature so denied him during the worst period in all of Civilised History, The Holocaust! I know Your God has looked on You and taken You to where only a good and Righteous person belongs. God Bless You Elie Wiesel.

  • Ephraim

    What took them so long? It is inappropriate for Holocaust essays to be judged by the spiritual descendants of the perpetrators of the Holocaust in the first place.

    • No! It is always appropriate for anyone to speak of The Holocaust, if it defers to the loss, the memory and the wrong done!

  • Lia

    Time to be rid of the UN!!!!

  • stevenl

    The war of the barbarians against the Jews goes UN-abated. It started more than 2,000 years ago and gathered further support 13 centuries ago. But they are not on the right side of history.

    • We have lost one of the great Teachers on Tolerance. Take up where Elie Wiesel has left us!