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Fighting antisemitism through ‘Holocaust remembrance’ has been shown to be a failure and in a number of instances counter-productive

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a new “Envoy for Holocaust Remembrance and combating antisemitism” (Photo: Marty Gold)

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Here we are. Within a week of Canada’s UN vote on an anti-Israeli motion for the second year in a row, the Prime Minister appointed Irwin Cotler, to the position of Canada’s “Envoy for Holocaust Remembrance and combating antisemitism”.

According to Cotler, the Prime Minister offered him the appointment last summer but he could not accept it because of the matters on which his work had not finished.

By pure coincidence, or was it, Mr. Cotler managed to finish all his work at hand ready to accept the appointment right after Canada voted against Israel at the U.N and published its twisted explanation of the vote (EOV).

In making the announcement of his appointment at the House of Commons, the Prime Minister stated, inter-alia,” The special envoy will lead Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, advance Holocaust education, awareness and remembrance, all the while taking meaningful action to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad.”

The mandate of the Envoy is to:

  • Promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research as we continue working with partners in Canada and around the world to fight against hate and intolerance.
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and other implicated ministers to inform Government of Canada policy and programming.
  • Lead the Government of Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) which works with member countries and both domestic and international partners to strengthen and promote Holocaust education, remembrance.

The international mandate regarding the Holocaust and the fight against hate, intolerance and Antisemitism

Promoting and strengthening Holocaust education, remembrance and research are good and necessary things.

Considering the fact that Canada is a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), leading Canada’s delegation to IHRA-  which works with member countries and both domestic international partners and whose goal is likewise is to strengthen and promote education and remembrance Holocaust education remembrance – is also a good thing that comes with the title and job description.

I propose to deal with the third requirement to work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and other implicated ministers to inform Government of Canada policy and programming goes with the territory in Part 2, in the context of the national mandate.

First limitation of the international mandate: lack of connectivity with the present

However, all good things come with limitations in terms of both connectivity i.e. connecting the Jewish experience in Germany from 1933-1945 to the present and geopolitical gamesmanship.

By now it should be clear that after all these years and decades of pursuing these worthy objectives concerning the Holocaust, the state of knowledge among the millennial and the Z generations, among others, in the United States leaves a great deal to be desired as is also the case in the E.U. where each of the member countries teach the subject in a manner that makes the country come out looking good.

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The most recent illustration of the state of affairs in the U.S. is that despite a) the very large presence of population of Holocaust survivors and their first generation of children born in the U.S. and b) all the Holocaust education, remembrance ceremonies, research, publications and the Holocaust museums erected throughout the country, nationwide surveys done in 2020 established that among the respondents:

  • 20% said people talk about it too much;
  • 10% believe that the Holocaust never happened;
  • Almost a quarter (23%) believe it is a myth or that the number of Jews who were killed has been exaggerated;
  • 11% believe Jews were responsible for the Holocaust, a figure that rises to 19% in the state of New York. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases

In the light of such results, fighting antisemitism, hate and intolerance through the medium of the Holocaust remembrance has been shown to be a failure and in a number of instances counter-productive.

On this matter the reader may be interested in the following articles: (1) The Holocaust: “A gallon of talk and a teaspoon of action, 2020/02/19; (2) Yet, more gallons of double-talk and a teaspoon [if that] of action, 2020/02/21, and (3) The Holocaust: The West Mourns the Jewish Dead — But What About the Living? 2020/02/28 https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/dogan-akman/ 

Former federal Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler has been appointed as a special envoy to fight antisemitism (Photo: genevasummit.org)

Second limitation:  geopolitical gamesmanship

The fight against antisemitism, both on the domestic and international stages has been by and large high-jacked for geopolitical ends for the simple reason that a number of member countries of IHRA, most particularly, the two leading member nations of the U.E. Germany, and France, have been and continue to play a treacherous game of consistently breaching the IHRA definition, by way of illustration by financing directly and unapologetically

  • antisemitic and terrorist enterprises such as the Palestinian Authority and the antisemitic school program of UNRWA
  • a multitude of antisemitic NGOs both in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority associated with terrorists activities
  • assisting terrorist arch-antisemitic state of Iran break the US sanctions and refusing to take any measures to prevent it from developing its atomic bomb or taking punitive action to deal with Iran’s serious of breaches of the accord, wishfully drafted to prevent this from happening 
  • voting for antisemitic UN resolutions

Ironically enough, Merkel’s Germany is the worst of these offenders. By way of analysis and illustration of her antisemitism the reader might be interested in (1) Merkel’s Germany: An antisemitic terrorist state, 2020/09/24 ; (2) Merkel’s Germany: An antisemitic genocidal state 2020/09/18, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/dogan-akman/ 

Save for a handful principled members, most of the other E.U. countries are following suit in various degrees. In this connection, the reader might be interested in the antisemitic shenanigans of the E.U group: (1) European Union’s corrupt stance towards Israel, 2020/05/22, (2) The E.U.’s Middle-East policy is antisemitic 2020/05/2, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/dogan-akman/ 

Hence, at the end of the day, the Envoy’s international mandate is in the nature of scoring a domestic point with the Jewish community and showing the flag abroad on the subject of antisemitism which currently appears to be of concern to the European Heads of State, a fair number of whom contributed to its aggravation both by commission and omission.

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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