Welcoming the adoption by IHRA members of a special statement on the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, B’nai Brith continues to emphasize the Declaration’s principles through its ongoing work to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten.
“The work of IHRA is fundamental in safeguarding Holocaust memory and countering Holocaust denial and distortion,” said Brian Herman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “We are proud to support Canada’s participation in IHRA by funding a member of the Canadian delegation.”
The Stockholm Declaration acknowledges that the Holocaust (Shoah) fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization and commits IHRA members, including Canada, to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust in order “to plant the seeds of a better future amidst the soil of a bitter past.”
The Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism, adopted by international parliamentarians in 2010, is an equally important instrument in acknowledging the global growth in antisemitism and recommending actions to counter it.
“Understanding the Holocaust is essential to understanding what fuels contemporary antisemitism,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We remain firmly committed to IHRA’s work and to drawing on it in confronting the contemporary scourges of antisemitism, xenophobia, racism, ethnic cleansing and genocide.”
B’nai Brith reaffirms the following specific principles as fundamental elements of our work, honouring both the Stockholm Declaration and the Ottawa Protocol:
- We will continue to support IHRA’s work and its efforts to teach and apply the lessons of the Holocaust as a unique tragedy in human history.
- We will continue to advocate for practical measures by the Government of Canada to implement the IHRA definition of antisemitism as an integral element of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.
- We will continue to advocate for a national action plan to combat antisemitism in Canada, drawing on the lessons of the Holocaust and our own Eight Point Plan to Tackle Antisemitism – including the need for a special envoy to coordinate efforts at the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal levels.
- We are committed to advocating the importance of Canada’s provinces/territories addressing the shortcomings in education about the Holocaust and antisemitism, including the need for stronger and mandatory school curricula.
- We are committed to working with Canada’s universities and colleges to address contemporary campus antisemitism, including the challenge of Holocaust denial and distortion.
- We are committed to working collectively with all members of civil society in creating greater awareness of the Holocaust and its lessons and how this can help forestall other acts of genocide and mass atrocities.
- We are committed to applying the outcomes of The Fifth World Holocaust Forum, entitled “Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism” taking place at Yad Vashem on January 23, 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.