The United Nations, which has not always been friendly to the Jews, will mark the first universal observance of victims of the Holocaust this week, with an International Day of Commemoration with the theme "Remembrance and Beyond." The date is Jan. 27, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp 61 years ago.
The commemoration was long in coming, but it's never too late to confront the haters. David Irving, the notorious British war historian and Holocaust denier who once claimed the gas chambers at Auschwitz were a myth, now sits in a prison in Austria for denying facts about the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is against the law in Austria. He enjoys his infamy and notoriety, but even Deborah Lipstadt, who exposed Irving's fake "scholarship" and was sued for her trouble, says he should be left alone in the name of free speech. He gets more fame in prison than out and has become a martyr for neo-Nazis.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is a different breed of pig. He not only says that the slaughter of 6 million Jews is a "myth," but demands that the state of Israel be "wiped off the map" (6 million dead Jews were not enough). Failing that, European countries should take back their Jews. He plans a conference on the Holocaust to stoke anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism.
Not so long ago, the French Ambassador Daniel Bernard to Britain told a chic dinner table in London that Israel was a "s--tty little country," and asked, "Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of these people?" (What subsequently upset the English, according to the hostess who gave the party, was not the substance of the remark but her bad table manners in saying anything about it.)
The Muslim Council in London has boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day every year since it was designated in 2001 and asks all Muslims to do so. All the more remarkable, then, that even one Muslim in London, writing in the New Statesman, would dare to scold the Muslim Council for failing to see how the Holocaust is unique in the long history of human suffering. "Muslims have no right to demean the horror experienced by Jews, and as human beings they cannot stand aside and refuse to participate in remembering this calamity," he writes. "It is shameful for the council and its supporters to demonize those Muslims who participate in the memorial day."