The material – a course titled ‘Genocide Memorial Day’ – is recommended for children aged twelve and over, and was reportedly designed and circulated by a controversial pro-Iranian charity known as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). The material was reportedly uploaded to the respected TES digital educational service, an open resource platform for teachers formerly known as the Times Educational Supplement, and also emailed to educators across the country in January.
The material makes repeated equations between the Nazi treatment of the Jews and Israeli Government policy. It also describes the “Israeli assault on Gaza” in 2009 as a genocide and includes images of Hamas flags. Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation and seeks the genocide of all Jews worldwide.
A one-minute video produced by the IHRC promoting ‘Genocide Memorial Day’ also minimises the Jewish element of the Holocaust, such as by referring to the “eleven million victims of the Nazi Holocaust.” Alongside the Holocaust it also lists what it describes as genocides in Gaza.
The Definition says that “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.
The IHRC’s ‘Genocide Memorial Day’ is to be marked on the third Sunday in January in a brazen attempt to conflate it with and undermine Holocaust Memorial Day. This is not the first attempt to do so. Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, also tried to convert Holocaust Memorial Day into ‘Genocide Memorial Day’ in 2011 when they were both backbenchers.
One leading Holocaust educational campaigner accused the IHRC, through its material, of “using false equivocations of the Holocaust and deliberately conflating, downgrading and revising the Holocaust.”
Brandon Lewis, the Immigration Minister, called the revelation “stark and concerning” and promised to ‘follow up directly” on the matter with a parliamentary colleague in order to ensure that it “gets the proper attention”.
The IHRC is also behind the Al Quds Day marches in London, where Hizballah flags have been displayed and antisemitic statements have been made, such as blaming “Zionists” for the Grenfell fire disaster. Hizballah is an antisemitic genocidal terrorist organisation that has been proscribed and recently had its assets frozen by the British Government.