Leading Jewish Group Seeks to Keep Holocaust Programming Away From UNESCO
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.