Statement: Welcoming Greece to International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Presidency
04/06/21: The world Jewish community is welcoming Greece to the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which is comprised of 34 nations.
Greece's Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that one of his goals is "teaching and learning about the Holocaust to younger generations and society as a whole on what the Holocaust means so that it is never again repeated".
"Given the spate of Antisemitic incidents in Greece over the last couple of years including the desecration of Jewish monuments, cemeteries and synagogues, this is an invaluable opportunity for Greece to embrace Holocaust remembrance and education".
Prior to the Holocaust, Greece had a thriving Jewish community, particularly in Thessaloniki, a city that is said to have 2,000 years of Jewish history. In 1941, 60,000 Jewish people were deported by the Nazis and murdered in camps. Today, it's believed some 1,200 Jews remain of the decimated community.
"The timing of this appointment is especially meaningful on the eve of Yom Hashoah, the Jewish date for Holocaust remembrance. On Wednesday evening, commemoration for the six million murdered Jewish children, women and men will be held in Israel and all over the world".
Greece's leadership of IHRA is especially critical at this time as the organization's working definition of Antisemitism has come under incredible attack from left-wing groups who are attempting to reframe the definition to their liking. As Jewish communities all over the world continue to experience antisemitism, the definition is important today more than ever.
Greece has a positive and complimentary relationship with the State of Israel. Both countries work cooperatively on a number of diplomatic fronts and have a deep economic cooperative relationship.
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About: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities in the Jewish community and as a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.
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