MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh
MK Michal Cotler-WunshRami Zarnegar

After former Liberal justice minister and internationally-known human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler's appointment as Canada's special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism, Cotler's daughter, Israeli MK from the Blue and White party, and head if the Knesset Aliyah and Integration Committee’s subcommittee on Israel-Diaspora relations, Michal Cotler-Wunsh, paid tribute to her father.

"Congrats, Dad on this incredibly important and timely appointment!" she tweeted.

"It is imperative that Canada, as a trustee of human rights, has you at the helm to ensure the IHRA definition of antisemitism is adopted and implemented so that 'Never Again' can be upheld, promoted and protected in a world of 'again and again.'"

Video: Arutz Sheva interview with Irwin Cotler, Sep. 2014

In announcing Cotler’s appointment, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government is committed to strengthening its efforts to advance Holocaust education, research and remembrance at home and abroad.

"We must never forget the painful lessons of the Holocaust, or the memories of those who lived through it, because anti-Semitism has no place in Canada, or anywhere else," Trudeau said in a statement.

Calling the Holocaust "one of the darkest chapters in human history," a government news release said Jewish communities in Canada and around the world are facing a rising number of anti-Semitic incidents 75 years after the liberation of Nazi concentration and extermination camps revealed the full horrors of the Holocaust.

"The government of Canada will always stand with the Jewish community and fight the anti-Semitism, hatred and racism that incites such despicable acts," the statement added.

"We will also continue to preserve the stories of survivors through younger generations, and work to promote and defend pluralism, inclusion, and human rights."

Cotler will lead the government's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), working with 33 other member countries while reaching out to Canadians, civil society groups and academics.

The government of Canada formally adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism last year as part of its anti-racism strategy, as have several Canadian localities and cities.

Jewish groups in Canada welcomed Cotler's appointment. Michael Levitt, CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement, “At a time of rising anti-Semitism and dwindling awareness of the Holocaust, this initiative is more important than ever. It's critical that Special Envoy Cotler will have a mandate that includes responsibility for the implementation of the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism in institutions across Canada and internationally, including at the United Nations and other international forums. We thank the Canadian government for its commitment to advance Holocaust education and combat rising antisemitism, and we congratulate Irwin Cotler on this tremendously important new role."

Irwin Cotler
Irwin CotlerReuters