Last week the Annual Conference in Memory of Dr. Reuben Hecht was held on Holocaust Denial and its Repercussions. The seminar was comprised of two sessions. The first session featured an expert panel comprised of, Elhanan Yakira, of the Hebrew University, Ephraim Kaye, of Yad Vashem, and Gideon Bachar, head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Department for the Fight against Anti-Semitism.
Dr. Kobi Kabelek, a member of our faculty, moderated this panel, as the three experts shared philosophical, pedagogical, and political insights into Holocaust Denial and the effects it has throughout the world. All three presenters suggested that denial itself began with the Nazis through their acts of deception and secrecy throughout their existence.
They also showed the migration of denial from the West to the East, how it is mostly present on the internet, and how it is often closely linked to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments.
The second session was monitored by our director, Dr. Yael Granot-Bein, in which international students discussed Holocaust denial in their native countries, and student activists discussed their efforts today. Ms. Fruszina Hoor spoke about Hungary, and the recent trends of extreme anti-Semitism. Ms. Ionela Dasultu spoke about Romania, her efforts to research Jewish history, and the resistance she met as a student in Romania, and her hopes for the future of Holocaust research and education in Romania. Dr. Gabriel Mayer spoke about holocaust denial in the United States and the way the government monitors and interacts with such threats.
Rabbi Eric Hammer spoke about his efforts of combating Holocaust denial on the internet through news source comment sections, and his upcoming website. We also heard from Adi Levi and Arnon Duekman who are part of Ambassadors Online and how their work relates to concerns of increasing online Holocaust Denial.
The seminar was an intensive and captivating day. Engaging our students in these kinds of seminars is always a priority of ours, and being able to give them the opportunity to present in these forums is a special treat. We are very proud of their participation in this seminar, and grateful to the many audience members who came from around Israel for this interesting day.