Australia calls for more Holocaust education to fight antisemitism

During a debate in the United Nations General Assembly this week, Australia encouraged increased Holocaust education as a way of fighting antisemitism.

The General Assembly held an informal debate on the topic, “Combatting antisemitism and other forms of racism and hate – the challenges of teaching tolerance and respect in the digital age”.

Among those addressing the debate was UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed, and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, rabbi of Chabad of Poway, California, the synagogue which was targeted in a fatal antisemitic attack in April.

A number of countries – few, notably, from the Middle East, Africa or Asia – gave statements during the debate, including Australia.

“Improved understanding and commemoration of the Holocaust is one way of addressing antisemitism – and distortion or denial of the Holocaust is a particularly pernicious example of antisemitism that is all too common online,” Australia’s statement said.

Australia’s statement also promoted its recent acceptance as a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“Membership of [IHRA] is one measure of our commitment to strengthen and advance Holocaust education, research and remembrance,” the statement said.