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Gov't Kills Holocaust Denier Law

The government stopped a bill by MK Michael Ben Ari forbidding diplomatic contacts with 'Holocaust deniers,' which was left undefined.
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/9/2012, 9:09 PM

Clinton, Netanyahu, Abbas
Clinton, Netanyahu, Abbas
פלאש 90

The Netanyahu government rejected Wednesday a bill raised by MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) that would proscribe negotiations with holocaust deniers.

The bill, which Ben Ari calls the "Abbas Law" for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, would have made negotiations with the PA impossible.

PA doctrine denies the deaths of six-million Jews in the Holocaust ever took place, and officially refers to the Yad Vashem holocaust center and memorial as the "Holocaust Lie."

Ben Ari argued that Israel should reject diplomatic relations with anyone who denies the truth of what was done to the Jewish people in Europe, or the existence of the State of Israel.

The bill would, as formulated, allow citizens to file suit against the government for maintaining diplomatic contacts with those they deem to be Holocaust deniers. The law did not define "Holocaust denier," effectively leaving such a determination to the courts. 

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman argued a situation in which individual citizens use their own definition of who is and isn't a Holocaust denier would be "completely unworkable."

"The government must make that determination," Neeman said.

For his part, Ben-Ari accused Neeman of  "legal sophistry," and stated that his proposal is just a "survival instinct that should guide any human being, let alone a nation that has experienced the flames."

"This is Abu Mazen and the PA and their education system, not something that can be measured in marginal ways," he said. "The textbooks in their school system say the State of Israel does not exist.

"Do we deny it, and then trick ourselves into believing that it is better to be seen as seekers of peace? Do we have any limits?! You desire to be loved and receive a hug from those who work towards our destruction.”

Then Ben Ari attacked Sa'ar directly, saying, "Opposition to this law is one of the most horrific acts of hypocrisy, and we will pay the price for it."