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Irwin Cotler, MP



Statement on United Nations Anti-Semitism Forum

Posted on February 20, 2015

Mr. Speaker, recently I addressed the first-ever United Nations General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism, which took place, symbolically and significantly, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was also the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century, reminding us of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened.

At Auschwitz 1.3 million people were murdered, and 1.1 million of them were Jews. Let there be no mistake about it: Jews died at Auschwitz because of anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism did not die. Indeed, we have been witness to an escalation and intensification of this oldest, most enduring, and particularly toxic hatred, reminding us that while it begins with Jews, it may not end with Jews, that anti-Semitism is the canary in the mineshaft of evil.

I am pleased, therefore, that in response to the UN appeal to member parliaments, we will be holding a take-note debate on anti-Semitism on Tuesday evening. It is timely, necessary, and urgent that we sound the parliamentary alarm on this global evil.


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