The Articles below from Ha'aretz and Jerusalem Post announced the creation of an Internation Holocaust Memorial Day by the UN. The motion passed unanimously. Also in the motion is a rejection of Holocaust denial and condemnation of discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity. This motion was the first Israeli-initiated resolution to pass in the General Assembly.
Germany lauds unanimous UN declaration of int'l Holocaust Day
By Shlomo Shamir and Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Reuters
NEW YORK - Germany has praised the United Nations General Assembly for unanimously approving a proposal to set January 27 as the "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust."
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said that for the German people, the Holocaust will forever be a dark time in their history demanding special treatment.
The decision was made at the end of a special General Assembly session that began at UN headquarters in New York on Monday.
January 27, 1945 is the day that allied forces liverated the Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski applauded the UN General Assembly resolution.
"Sixty years after the Holocaust, the nations of the world are uniting to preserve its memory for future generations," Bielski told Haaretz. "This is an important decision taking into account the fact that the number of Holocaust survivors is decreasing every year as they pass on and this historic decision will guarantee that the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons will not be erased."
Bielski congratulated Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Gillerman, on having paved the way for the adoption of this resolution.
Gillerman also thanked the members of the General Assembly "at this unique and historic moment ... for adopting this unprecedented resolution."
As the world marks the 60th anniversaries this year of both the founding of the UN and the end of World War II, Gillerman said the Nazi slaughter of six million people, the vast majority of them Jews, must never be forgotten.
"I feel moved and privileged to present this historic resolution today, as an Israeli, a Jew, a human being and the child of Holocaust victims," Gillerman said in introducing the resolution.
There was no vote on the resolution. Instead, General Assembly President Jan Eliasson banged the gavel signifying consensus after asking whether there were any objections and hearing none.
The resolution asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish a special public relations plan within the next six months, which will work to advance Holocaust commemoration so as to prevent genocide from taking place.
The resolution also urges individual countries to develop educational programs to try to prevent future acts of genocide.
It also rejects any denial of the Holocaust, condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity, and calls for the UN to establish an outreach program to encourage the public to engage in Holocaust remembrance activities.
The resolution, introduced Monday, was sponsored initially by Israel, the United States, Australia, Canada and Russia. Since the draft resolution was distributed for the first time in August, 91 UN member nations have added their names, including eight Muslim countries and several countries in Africa and South America.
Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia said they supported the resolution but atrocities against Christians and Muslims deserved equal attention.
After the vote, Egypt's UN Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz complained that the day should commemorate all victims of genocide - "without discrimination on the basis of religious or ethnic background" - and not be limited just to victims of the Holocaust.
"We believe that no one should have the monopoly of suffering," he said.
Jordan's UN Ambassador Prince Zeid al-Hussein called the Holocaust "a crime of the most colossal proportions" that was inflicted on European soil by Europeans against Europeans.
But he said it should not be used as a moral justification for the "continued domination of one people by another," an obvious reference to Israel and the Palestinians.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, in a speech on Monday, recalled the recent comments of at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that sparked international condemnation.
"When a president or a member state can brazenly and hatefully call for a second Holocaust by suggesting that Israel, the Jewish homeland, should be wiped off the map, it is clear that not all have learned the lessons of the Holocaust and that much work remains to be done," Bolton said.
Germany's UN Ambassador Gunter Pleuger called the Holocaust "the very darkest chapter in the history of Germany." And Austria, Romania and France all recalled their history of collaboration with the Nazis.
"We feel the agony of knowing that our country lost so many of its Jewish citizens to the Holocaust," Austria's UN Ambassador Gerhard Pfanzelter said. "At the same time we feel the pain of realizing that far too many Austrians took part in this greatest of all crimes."
The resolution is the first of its kind, spurring diplomats in New York to call the move "historic."
In addition to setting a world Holocaust Day, the resolution calls on member nations to develop educational programs to teach the next generations the lessons of the Holocaust, in an effort to prevent acts of genocide in the future. The resolution also includes a clause opposing any steps to deny the Holocaust as a historical event, in whole or in part. The resolution also expresses appreciation for all countries that acted to preserve and maintain sites that existed during the Holocaust, such as death camps, concentration camps and forced labor camps.
The effort to declare an international Holocaust Day is consistent with the UN commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, say those who drafted the resolution. In January the United Nations held a special session dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
General Assembly President Jan Eliasson and other speakers noted, however, that the Holocaust and World War II did not mark the end of crimes of genocide. The Holocaust "must, therefore, be a unifying historic warning around which we must rally," Eliasson said. "We can't continue to repeat saying 'Never again.'"
UN adopts Int'l Holocaust Day
By HERB KEINON
Nov. 1, 2005 8:03 | Updated Nov. 7, 2005 16:39
It took 56 years, but the UN General Assembly on Tuesday finally passed an Israeli-initiated resolution.
After 10-months of preparatory work, two days of discussion and an impassioned speech by Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman, the General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution declaring January 27 - the day in 1945 when Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated - as a worldwide day to commemorate the Holocaust.
"I feel moved and privileged to present this historic resolution today, as an Israeli, a Jew, a human being and a child of a family of Holocaust victims," Gillerman said Monday when presenting the resolution.
"The United Nations was founded on the ashes of the Holocaust," he said. "The UN bears a special responsibility to ensure that the Holocaust and its lessons are never forgotten and that this tragedy will forever stand as a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice."
The resolution urges individual countries to develop educational programs to try to prevent future acts of genocide. It also rejects any denial of the Holocaust, condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity, and calls for the UN to establish an outreach program to encourage the public to engage in Holocaust remembrance activities.
Roni Leshno Ya'ar, the Foreign Ministry's deputy director-general for the UN and international organizations, said the UN will budget some $350,000 for this purpose over the next two years.
This was the first time an Israeli-initiated resolution ever even made it to the floor of the General Assembly for a vote, let alone won resounding approval. The vote came less than a week after the Security Council, in an unprecedented censuring of a Muslim country for statements against Israel, condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call to wipe Israel off the map.
US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton made reference to Ahmadinejad's comments in his speech on Monday.
"When a president or a member state can brazenly and hatefully call for a second Holocaust by suggesting that Israel, the Jewish homeland, should be wiped off the map, it is clear that not all have learned the lessons of the Holocaust and that much work remains to be done," he said.
The resolution was sponsored initially by Israel, the US, Australia, Canada and Russia. Gillerman said Tuesday it had 104 garnered co-sponsors.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom termed the vote "historic."
"For the first time since the establishment of Israel, the UN General Assembly has adopted an unprecedented Israeli resolution. This is a very significant step, both in the war against anti-Semitism and for the commemoration of the Holocaust, and in promoting Israel's international position," he said.
Shalom said the vote showed that the UN, after 60 years, finally realized the importance of acknowledging the lessons of the Holocaust, and finally treated Israel as an equal member in the international community.
Leshno Ya'ar said the challenge now facing the ministry would be to implement the resolution within the UN framework and in each country.
After the vote, Gillerman thanked the 191 members of the General Assembly "at this unique and historic moment... for adopting this unprecedented resolution."
More than a dozen countries spoke during the debate on the resolution which began Monday and ended Tuesday morning. While all speakers backed the general thrust of the draft, there were calls for its scope to be expanded beyond the Holocaust to incorporate other war crimes, acts of genocide or ethnic cleansing.
Egyptian Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz complained that the day should commemorate all victims of genocide and not be limited just to victims of the Holocaust.
Why should there be a remembrance day for the Jews and not for Christians and Muslims, he asked, stating that "no one had a monopoly on suffering."
Indonesia's ambassador said it would be preferable if the intention to institute Holocaust remembrance within the UN system also gave simultaneous attention to other tragedies.
Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid al-Hussein, meanwhile, called the Holocaust "a crime of the most colossal proportions." But, in a clear allusion to Israel and the Palestinians, he said that, unfortunately and by contrast, "never again‚ was also sometimes used as a form of moral justification for the implementation of some policies, the effect of which was the continued domination of one people by another."
Despite these sentiments, General Assembly President Jan Eliasson of Sweden banged the gavel signifying consensus after asking whether there were any objections and hearing none.
The UN was "erected from the ashes of the Second World War," he said, and part of its original mission was to make sure such an "unspeakable atrocity" as the Holocaust never occurred again.
The Holocaust "must, therefore, be a unifying historic warning around which we must rally," he said. "We can't continue to repeat saying never again."
Michael Melchior, the deputy minister responsible for Israel's response to anti-Semitism, said: "This important declaration by the UN comes very late, but better late than never. By declaring this day, the United Nations is recognizing the importance of dealing with anti-Semitism, which gave birth to the most terrible crime in the history of humanity."
Melchior said that the effectiveness of this decision would be tested by its implementation, "first and foremost in the educational curriculums around the world and particularly in those countries where anti-Semitism is growing."
Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev issued a statement welcoming the resolution, saying that by adopting the resolution the UN had "expressed its recognition of the importance of Holocaust remembrance as well as the role that Holocaust education plays in safeguarding basic human values."
AP contributed to this report.
Members of Pax Christi, described euphemistically as ‘the international Catholic movement for Peace’, will gather outside Downing Street on Wednesday, 9 November, for a prayer vigil on the theme 'breaking down walls' (and letting terrorists in – Ed.)
The President of Pax Christi is the Patriarch of Terror, Bishop Michel Sabbah.
A delegation will present Mr Tony Blair with postcards and a letter from the Pax Christi campaign
"People of the Holy Land need Bridges Not Walls".
They chose the date specially:
The 9 November marks the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Pax Christi have chosen this day to urge the British Government to do all it can to persuade the Government of Israel to dismantle the separation wall between Israel and Palestine.
Reminder to Pax Christi: the Berlin Wall was constructed to keep citizens in, not to keep terrorists out. And you know it.
There is the usual whining about the inconvenience the ‘wall’ causes to Palestinians, without reference to the need to save Israeli lives, which Pax Christi evidently consider of little value.
If you want to make your views known to Tony Blair, you can email Downing Street before Pax Christi arrive there and start ‘praying’.
Pope Pius XII: Friend or Foe of the Jews? Or a distraction from the villainy of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem?November 7th, 2005
'The Myth of Hitler's Pope' by Rabbi David G. Dalin is the latest contribution to the long-running argument about Pope Pius XII's behaviour during WWII and whether he helped, or failed to help, the persecuted Jews. This book takes a favourable view of him.
When Mussolini's fascist laws forbade Jews to teach in Italian schools or universities, Pius XII promptly appointed several Jewish scholars to posts in the Vatican library.
Rabbi Dalin makes the interesting suggestion that accusations against the Pope were intended to distract us from a real villain: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.
But perhaps the most interesting and significant section of his book is the evidence he produces for a quite different and sinister scenario: the close relationship between Hajj Amin al-Husseini (grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1922) and Hitler's Nazi party. He suggests that Pius's critics have deliberately deflected blame from such pro-Nazi Islamic fundamentalists onto Pius XII. Certainly this thread of the argument was news to me and, I suspect, to many others, but Dalin produces disturbing evidence to support his case.
A reminder of some of the Palestinian Grand Mufti's own behaviour during the War.
Hajj Amin al-Husseini was known to have met Hitler privately on a number of occasions. He was a friend of Adolf Eichmann and visited Auschwitz. An implacable enemy of the Jews, he supported the destruction of European Jewry and did all he could to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state. He made frequent broadcasts on German radio, displaying virulent anti-Semitism with statements such as "the Jews live as parasites among the nations, suck out their blood, embezzle their property…"
Most telling of all, in Egypt in 1946 Hajj Amin al-Husseini met the young Yasser Arafat, who became his protege and went on to lead PLO terrorists for 40 years.
I cannot yet link to these stories as separate items, so you will need to go to DAILY DISPATCHES for November, 02 2005 and read Holy See Backs U.N. on "Holocaust Remembrance Day" and Holy See's U.N. Address on Holocaust Remembrance. and Holy See Address on Plight of Palestinian Christians
The Holy See Address on Plight of Palestinian Christians
is something of a curate's egg. There is a reference to persecution of Christians by Muslims – only without saying the word “Muslim”.
All Palestinians have the right to fair and fair-minded treatment from their peers and from the recognized authorities alike. Religious extremism of any kind, implicated in attacks, abuse and harassment of Christians in the area around Bethlehem recently, is not to be tolerated. No matter who is targeted by violence and bigotry, such acts are a stain on the conscience of peoples. It is thus the hope of my delegation that solutions will be found by local leaderships which will address the needs of all the members of local communities who suffer from violence.
The Israeli ‘wall’ is also blamed for the plight of the Christians, with only a glancing reference to Israelis’ need for ‘security’. Inconveniences suffered by Palestinians appear to be of greater importance than the murder and maiming of Israelis.
Now for some good news: Holy See Backs U.N. on "Holocaust Remembrance Day" and also its condemnation of incitement to terrorism.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, took part in the debate, to stress that "remembering is a duty and a common responsibility."
However, the archbishop lamented that "for 60 years we have had the horror of this kind of crime before us, in spite of which history has still repeated itself."
"May the Holocaust serve as a warning to prevent us from yielding to ideologies which justify contempt for human dignity on the basis of race, color, language or religion," the papal representative said at the U.N. headquarters.
In this connection, Archbishop Migliore appealed for renewal of support for Security Council Resolution 1624 "which both condemned 'in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts' and repudiated 'attempts at the justification or glorification of terrorist acts that may incite further terrorist acts.'"
Reports in “the Vatican newspaper, El Messagero" that Israel and the Vatican are going to exchange control of the Last Supper Room in Jerusalem for that of the ancient Toledo Synagogue in Spain, have been denied by President Moshe Katsav and Cardinal Walter Kasper.
The initial report seems to have set off panic-stricken
rumours in some quarters that the Catholic Church was planning to take over the whole of Mount Zion and make it “the Vatican of the Middle East”!
No doubt those who believed the rumours will now heave a sigh of relief, but perhaps it will reassure them to read the rest of the article about
‘Nostra Aetate’ and the development of the Catholic Church’s attitude to the Jewish people. If I were them, I’d worry more about certain Protestant Churches who would like to see Jews lose control, not only of Mount Zion, but the whole of Israel.