With help from the World Jewish Congress, the United Nations agency launched a website to disseminate information about the Holocaust.
By Joseph Wolkin
UNESCO presented its new aboutholocaust.org Monday at the United Nations agency’s Paris headquarters. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and WJC President Ronald Lauder launched the site at the event, with a press release explaining the project represents “a response to increased hate and disinformation online.”
“The WJC has partnered with UNESCO in this critical Holocaust education project to pass the baton on to the young people of today, the future leaders of tomorrow,” Lauder said. “It is our duty to ensure that the six million Jews killed just for being Jewish will be remembered by all, and that the circumstances of their deaths will constantly remind us what can happen when we let hatred prevail.”
There are several sections on the site, including a “Testimonies” tab, which includes video footage from survivors discussing how they made it out of the Holocaust alive.
“The website launch comes in the wake of the high-level event on preventing anti-Semitism through education, organized by UNESCO in the presence of the UN Secretary-General, during the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September,” the UNESCO press release stated.
UNESCO’s newest webpage arrives five months after the UN’s move to publish educational guidelines on combating anti-Semitism.
“It is essential to provide young people with the skills and tools to engage against the denial and distortion of history, which fuel extremism and antisemitism,” Azoulay said.
The new site also utilizes resources from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., using many of the museum’s archives.
Lauder commented, “We must never forget our past if we wish to create a better future. We are grateful and pleased to have UNESCO as our partner as we lead together on this important task.”
Notwithstanding UNESCO’s efforts to improve Holocaust awareness online, the agency’s relationship with Israel is fraught, and includes a string of UNESCO resolutions denying the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel.
As a result, Israel is set to remove itself from the organization in 2019. The United States is doing the same.
Just last month, the Paris-based agency approved a resolution stating that two key Jewish holy sites are “integral part[s] of the Occupied Palestinian territory.” These two major landmarks are the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb.
UNESCO also voted in favor of a resolution that said Israel has no right to Jerusalem, and claiming the Temple Mount and Old City in Jerusalem are exclusively Muslim holy sites.