(photo credit: )
The cabinet met in special session at Yad Vashem on Thursday, ahead of Friday's International Day of Struggle Against Anti-Semitism and Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust.
The day is a result of a UN General Assembly resolution unanimously passed on November 1 of last year, declaring January 27 - the day in 1945 when Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated - as a worldwide day to commemorate the Holocaust.
The resolution urges individual countries to develop educational programs to try to prevent future acts of genocide. It also rejects any denial of the Holocaust, condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity and calls for the UN to establish an outreach program to encourage the public to engage in Holocaust remembrance activities.
At the cabinet meeting, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that "we chose to naturally have this meeting here, at the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, to note the government's obligations to commemorate the memory of our brothers and sisters who were murdered at the hands of the Germans and their allies in the Holocaust."
Speaking of the new Holocaust commemoration day, Olmert said that he hoped "that this step will lead to a better sense of awareness of the Holocaust in many communities in the world, that for many years tried to escape from the need to deal with the Holocaust in all its aspects. I also hope that this step will lead to a reduction in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial that in recent years, unfortunately, we have been witness to in a very worrisome manner."
The cabinet was briefed by Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Israeli Society Avraham Hirschson on current actions the government is taking to fight anti-Semitism.
Olmert thanked Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and all of the museum staff for their work in "keeping alive the memory the Holocaust."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>