The Israeli Jewish Congress urges all European countries to adopt laws criminalizing Holocaust Denial.
Of the 27 member states in the European Union, only 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain) have such laws. The lack of such laws in Great Britain which played such a major role in World War II is especially surprising, the argument that such laws would infringe freedom of expression or that it could advantage the deniers sound hollow to us. The IJC finds that the Scandinavian countries’ decision not to enact or promote such laws out of freedom of expression concern to be incompatible with the memory of Holocaust victims.
Of the six EU Candidate Member countries (Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) none have such laws on record.
Of the non-EU European countries, only Bosnia Herzegovina and Switzerland criminalize Holocaust denial and we wish to commend these two countries for this.
On the EU level it has been 16 years since the Council of the European Union adopted a “Joint Action to combat Racism and Xenophobia” and notwithstanding the German efforts to promote this measure during their Presidency of the Council, no real results have been reached.
The IJC believes that in these trying times, when the leader of a party elected to the Greek Parliament dares to deny the Holocaust, it is more urgent than ever to combine efforts and pass these laws throughout Europe. We think that the EU should request that Candidate Member Countries adopt such law as a condition of entering the EU.
The Israeli Jewish Congress hereby call up European Countries to adopt laws which will make Holocaust Denial a criminal offense, 70 years after the Earth of Europe was soaked with the blood of millions of victims, the time has come to ensure that remembering them will be their legacy.
This IJC initiative was covered by Israel Channel 1 News Program “Mabat” on May 24th 2012. The feature can be viewed here (with English subtitles).