July 31st, 2018–
Last week, Executive Director of the Virginia Holocaust Museum wrote a letter to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Mark Zuckerberg’s comments allowing Holocaust Denial to remain on Facebook. Below is Asher’s statement:
Mark Zuckerberg, by permitting Holocaust deniers to spread their false, historically inaccurate disinformation via Facebook, permits them to question the historic reality of the Shoah — the Nazi genocide that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.
And if that isn’t bad enough, there are his comments in defense of that policy.
In last week’s attempted walk-back of his previous comments, Zuckerberg said: “I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. … I find that deeply offensive but at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.”
Holocaust denial is not “getting things wrong” — it is anti-Semitism spread to mislead and incite hatred. Its false narrative vilifies the victims, excuses its perpetrators, challenges its scope and dimensions, and replaces history with propaganda. Its purveyors depict it as a Jewish ruse to drum up support for the creation and ongoing support of Israel while they defend the Nazis who committed it. Deniers reduce one of the most terrible incidents in history to a misunderstanding.
Holocaust denial is not merely a difference of opinion, but a tool of hatred. It stands for everything that the Virginia Holocaust Museum stands against — racism, hatred, and intolerance — and seeks to counter VHM’s mission to educate and inspire future generations of Virginians to fight prejudice and indifference.
Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to participate in its dissemination, and Zuckerberg has an obligation to see that it doesn’t.
Samuel H. Asher,
Executive Director, Virginia Holocaust Museum.