Former Knesset Speaker Dan Tichon told Arutz 7 Monday that increasing anti-Semitic attacks make it more urgent for nations to pass laws outlawing Holocaust denial.
Tichon heads the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research that was founded more than 10 years and is based in Berlin, which was the capital of the Nazi regime that exterminated one-third of European Jewry.
The Task Force was established following the 1998 “Swedish Declaration” to fight anti-Semitism. Tichon said that one of its primary objectives is to convince countries to make the Holocaust illegal in the face of growing Holocaust deniers, including heads of state. He emphasized he was not referring only to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Task Force plans to hold a conference in Jerusalem in the coming months, but he added that finding common ground among the 27 member countries of the organization "is not easy but is possible.”
Tichon explained that laws against Holocaust denial would allow countries to place offenders on trial and help reduce the encouragement of anti-Semitic attacks, which earlier this month were aimed at synagogues in France and Lithuania. The Task Force also encourages appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance.
Its member countries are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Professor Yehuda Bauer, former head of the Yad VaShem Research Institute in Jerusalem, is the Task Force's honorary chairman.