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Press Release - BBE condemns Catalunyaís cancellation of Holocaust remembrance ceremony Print E-mail
Comparison between the Nazi extermination of the Jews and the situation of the Palestinians abets Holocaust revisionists.

Brussels, Belgium – January 26, 2009 – B'nai B'rith Europe condemns the cancellation of this year’s ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the Catalunyan government on the grounds of Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The press quoted an official from the city of Barcelona who explained this move as follows: "Marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking place is not right." This remark came in the midst of a flood of reports in the local media that drew analogies between Nazi atrocities and Israel’s actions against Hamas terrorism. Such discourse unfortunately seems to have become endemic in Catalunya.

Not only is it cynical to relate the systematic mass murder of six million Jews and numerous other victims at the hand of the Nazis to the deeply regrettable plight of the Palestinian population in Gaza. It also abets the agenda of Holocaust deniers and other revisionists who seek to downplay or even deny this unprecedented crime against humanity. Rather than to impute to the State of the survivors of the Holocaust the most evil of all intentions, its biased critics ought to have a closer look at the ideological foundation of Hamas and of its parent, the Muslim Brotherhood, which even precedes the creation of the State of Israel. If Catalunya were to take its anti-fascist stance and its solidarity with the Palestinians seriously, it would critically confront this Islamist terrorist movement and its antisemitic agenda, which is also at the root of the civilian population’s suffering in Gaza, rather than to resort to aggressive symbolic gestures that amount to an insult to both the dead and the survivors of the Holocaust.

It also needs to be recalled that the Working Definition of Antisemitism that is used by both the EU’s and OSCE’s expert bodies on monitoring hatred mentions such comparisons as one example of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel. If nothing else, this should come as a wake-up call to the government of Catalunya.

Represented in 58 countries, B’NAI B’RITH is the world’s largest Jewish Human Rights, Community action and Humanitarian organisation. B’NAI BRITH EUROPE is represented in 28 countries throughout Europe.
With its office based in Brussels B’NAI B’RITH is represented at the European Parliament, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the United Nations in Geneva and UNESCO in Paris. The main goals of B’NAI B’RITH are the defence of Human Rights and the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, the defence of the State of Israel, humanitarian relief for the needy in Eastern Europe and in Israel and action to develop Jewish identity, Jewish culture and Jewish heritage.

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