UN agency teams with Jewish group to launch a Holocaust education website


(JTA) — UNESCO, the United Nations agency that has rejected Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the World Jewish Congress have launched a website dedicated to Holocaust education and memory.

The website, called Facts about the Holocaust, was unveiled Monday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris by the scientific and cultural agency’s director-general, Audrey Azoulay, who is Jewish, and WJC President Ronald Lauder. Some 150 presidents of Jewish communities worldwide were on hand to sign a commitment to the preservation of Holocaust memory and to fighting anti-Semitism worldwide.

The interactive website is available in English and is expected to be launched in dozens of languages, including Chinese and Arabic, according to WJC. It provides answers to frequently asked questions and common misconceptions about the Holocaust.

The site includes important facts, video testimonials of survivors, and the latest news updates about Holocaust educational programs and activities. It links to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website for a more in-depth and advanced look at the topics.

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A Teach-A-Friend feature allows users to send automatic emails containing information and facts to friends.

“It is essential to provide young people with the skills and tools to engage against the denial and distortion of history, which fuel extremism and antisemitism,” Azoulay said in a statement. “We must fight against amnesia, intellectual and moral regression to build a lively and collective memory.”

In December, Israel announced that it would leave the agency over what it called UNESCO’s “biased, one-sided and absurd attitude” over Israel. The withdrawal will go into effect next month, at the same time as the United States. The two countries will remain as observer states.

In recent years, UNESCO has passed resolutions rejectingIsraeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and placed the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Old City of Hebron in the State of Palestine on the list of world heritage sites in danger. It frequently refers to the Temple Mount only by its Arabic name, Al-Haram al-Sharif.

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