The date was not a random choice, it was to mark the previous January’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Since its liberation by horrified Soviet forces, Auschwitz had become a universal symbol of the Nazi determination to exterminate European Jewry. The aspiration of the general assembly was to foster a global recognition of the Holocaust as a historical event.
Therefore, the article by Sara Bloomfield and Irina Bokova in the Irish Examiner of January 27 was a timely reminder that this humanitarian ideal has to all intents and purposes remained nothing more than a utopian aspiration.
The evidence makes it is clear to all of us that extremist groups around the globe wield new technologies to incite hatred and perpetrate new mass killings and genocides.
The horrific terrorist attacks in France and Denmark left the world reeling with the sheer barbarism of so-called Islamic State.
These individuals had been radicalised by vicious anti-western, anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda.
As Bloomfield and Bokova so cogently pointed out, this strategy has a terrifying predecessor as “the Nazis deployed sophisticated modern communications technologies, including radio and film, to win the battle of ideas — and thus to shape public opinion and behaviour”.
In less than a decade, this process had dehumanised Jews in the German psyche to such an extent that they willingly ignored the initial persecution, then disappearance and finally extermination of neighbours, friends and schoolmates.
The anti-Semitic worldview in evidence now is reinforced by an insidious propaganda fostered and disseminated by the hard-left. This is exemplified by the resignation of Christiane Taubira, the French justice minister who rejected the government’s move to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists with dual nationality.
This illogical world-view is predicated on erroneous and despicable analogies to the plight of Jews in wartime France, as leftist ideologues “compare it to the revocation of citizenship of French Jews during the Second World War” (Irish Examiner, 28 January).
It is simply outrageous to compare Islamic terrorists who have committed mass murder with law-abiding, assimilated men, women and children who were willingly handed over to the Nazis simply because they were Jews.