UNESCO and WJC launch website on Holocaust education

UN cultural agency teams up with World Jewish Congress to launch website dedicated to Holocaust education and memory.

Ben Ariel,

UNESCO headquarters in Paris
UNESCO headquarters in Paris
iStock

UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, on Monday teamed up with the World Jewish Congress to launch a website dedicated to Holocaust education and memory, JTA reported.

The website, called Facts about the Holocaust, was unveiled at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris by the agency’s director-general, Audrey Azoulay, WJC President Ronald Lauder.

Some 150 presidents of Jewish communities worldwide were on hand to sign a commitment to the preservation of Holocaust memory and to fighting anti-Semitism worldwide, according to the report.

The interactive website is available in English and is expected to be launched in dozens of languages, including Chinese and Arabic, according to WJC. It provides answers to frequently asked questions and common misconceptions about the Holocaust.

The site includes important facts, video testimonials of survivors, and the latest news updates about Holocaust educational programs and activities. It links to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website for a more in-depth and advanced look at the topics.

A Teach-A-Friend feature allows users to send automatic emails containing information and facts to friends.

“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 in a statement.

“We must fight against amnesia, intellectual and moral regression to build a lively and collective memory,” she added.

Israel has had a contentious relationship with UNESCO, which has approved several anti-Israel resolutions in recent years.

Last month, the UN agency approved a resolution declaring that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are "an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory."

Previous resolutions referred to the Jewish state as "the occupying power" in Jerusalem. Another declared the Old City of Hevron as a “Palestinian World Heritage site”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed resolutions declaring that Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, and describing the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem as Muslim holy sites.

Israel announced last December that it intended to withdraw from UNESCO, after the US made a similar announcement. The withdrawals are to take effect in 2019.

Azoulay has sought to dissuade Israel from leaving UNESCO, and invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a conference on anti-Semitism held by the organization in September. However, Netanyahu ultimately declined to participate in the conference, citing the organization’s incessant anti-Israel actions.




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