Holocaust and Hatikvah

Denying The “Right” to Holocaust Denial Activity

Tags: Holocaust, Resources, Activities, Antisemitism, Education

By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

How is it possible to not view the denial of the Holocaust, the attempt to exterminate the Jewish People, the Nation of Israel, based on nothing but their religious and enthno-tribal affiliation, as hate speech? Furthermore, when it is known that incitement against Jews and Israelis in particular has led to terrorists murdering Jews, how can anyone let this most basic of incitements stand?

Many who make blanket statements about the Holocaust are often engaging in what could be considered as the diminishment of the Holocaust reality - such as by making illegitimate comparisons with other events, either historical and/or modern. This minimization of the extremity of the circumstances faced by Jews during the explosion of Jew-hatred fueled by Nazi ideology, is a version of Holocaust denial that is increasingly used by Israel-haters, perpetuated by Islamofascism, and masked as a legitimate form of political criticism. At the end of the day, the truth becomes real: hate of Jews is still alive and kicking, and Holocaust denial is one tool by which to keep it thriving in the hotbed of social inferno.

The issue of free speech vs censorship on both mainstream and social media is an ongoing topic of interest, and Holocaust denial quite often falls in a “grey area” - is it or is it not allowed? Where are the boundaries? When Facebook decided to allow Holocaust denial to flow freely on its pages, Israel Forever’s interns offered a voice of clear moral reason: There is no “right” to deny the Holocaust.

This activity will help engage learners in an exploration of ideas and challenges posed by modern day forms of denying the Holocaust. We invite you to use this to engage your students, children, youth movement and community members in a dynamic discussion on Holocaust denial today and what YOU as a Virtual Citizen of Israel can do about it. Please adapt the language used in the quotes and discussion question suggestions to make them age appropriate.

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About the Author

Dr.  Elana Yael Heideman
Dr. Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively in developing content and programming to deepen and activate the personal connection to Israel for Diaspora Jews. Elana’s extensive experience in public speaking, educational consulting and analytic research and writing has served to advance her vision of Israel-inspired Jewish identity that incorporates the relevance of the Holocaust, Antisemitism and Zionism to contemporary issues faced throughout the Jewish world in a continuous effort to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.

Tags: Holocaust, Resources, Activities, Antisemitism, Education