For those in denial

Erdan seeks to pass resolution against Holocaust denial at the U.N.

The resolution will be brought to the GA on Jan. 20, 80 years after Nazi officials gathered in Wannsee to discuss the Final Solution

Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Israeli Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan in his office at the Embassy of Israel to the United States on January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan will put forward a resolution opposing Holocaust denial and Holocaust distortion later this month at the U.N. General Assembly.

The resolution will be brought to a vote at the General Assembly on Jan. 20, Erdan told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday, a symbolic date marking 80 years since Nazi officials gathered in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss the Final Solution.

The resolution includes an adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Holocaust denial, sets requirements for combating Holocaust denial and places responsibility on social media companies to take active measures to fight Holocaust denial, including removing such content from their platforms. 

Erdan said that the issue was increasingly pressing given a recent uptick in “the dangerous phenomenon of Holocaust denial” exacerbated both by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the conflict between Israel and Hamas last May. He said “not just individuals but also countries” are responsible for this, specifically mentioning Iran as a country that “formally denies the Holocaust.”

While noting that the back-channel negotiations surrounding the resolution have been “complex — no different than the Knesset,” Erdan expressed confidence that the resolution has a “very high chance of passing.”

Issues raised by other countries during the negotiations, Erdan said, have included demands to include anti-Islamophobia wording in the text, as well as concerns about freedom of speech.

According to Erdan’s office, the U.S. and Germany back the resolution and are working with Israel to advance it.

Following months of talks between U.N. member countries about the resolution, it will move into the public phase this week, with the participation of dozens of countries.