HCNZ media release…

During this year’s commemoration of United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, there were calls worldwide, including New Zealand, for Holocaust remembrance to extend to concern for today’s Jewish communities.

At Holocaust Centre of New Zealand commemorations around the country, the remembrance of Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust shone a sharp light on the growing anti-Semitism faced by Jewish people today

The annual commemorations are co-sponsored by UNESCO, the Human Rights Commission of New Zealand and major City Councils.

At the United Nations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the rise of anti-Semitism in the world and the significance of combating it.

“We reaffirm our resolve to fight the hatred that still plagues our world today. It is necessary more and more that we sound the alarm…inevitably, where there is anti-Semitism, no one else is safe.”

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand has adopted the definition of anti-Semitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a definition adopted by many governments and major organisations:

Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Verbal and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

This specifically includes Holocaust denial, accusing Jewish people of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust, and dehumanising, demonising, or making stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective.

HCNZ chairman Jeremy Smith says that standing up to anti-Semitism is one of the Holocaust Centre’s central missions.

“The global call to condemn anti-Semitism directly links to our campaign to educate New Zealand about the Holocaust and to be upstanders in the face of discrimination and prejudice.”