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2018 Annual Assessment

To prevent future attempts to pass legislation similar to the Polish law discussed above, the Government of Israel should define guiding principles and act according to them. Short-term considerations that might ignore anti-Semitic statements or Holocaust denial stemming from countries friendly to Israel should be avoided, as they could lead to a vague indeterminacy that in itself could add momentum to such efforts.
We recommend acting according to three principles:

  1. Take a firm stance on all matters of denial or distortion of historical fact, the diminution of the Holocaust, or trampling the memory of the victims. It is incumbent to recall that Holocaust denial is not a casual, isolated act but can lead to the fomenting of anti-Semitic sentiment toward local Jewish communities and the de-legitimization of Israel. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain a firm stance against Holocaust denial in general and historical revisionism particularly.
  2. Israeli government leaders should maintain cognizance of the publicly stated positions of Jewish community leaders in the countries where governments grant legitimacy to anti-Semitic former leaders from the Holocaust era, or express problematic comments regarding the Holocaust or the Jewish people.
  3. Any country friendly to Israel is important and Israel should seek to maintain excellent relations with it. Since the fall of Communism, the countries of Eastern Europe have generally voted in the EU and UN in a manner sympathetic with Israel, and these relationships should be appreciated and nurtured.

The Government of Israel, through careful consideration and based on a set of guiding principles, must navigate the thin line that divides political pragmatism, which calls for maintaining friendly relations with friendly countries, from remaining steadfast to the principles that sustain Israel’s national and social vision.