January 27, 1945 was the day that Soviet troops liberated the largest and most infamous of the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz — and it is for this reason that this day was chosen by the international community to serve as a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
How inappropriate — and indeed, offensive — it is to choose this day to hold a major anti-Israel rally, as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is doing.
According to the UNâ€™s website, General Assembly Resolution 60/7, passed in November 2005, called upon all UN member states “to develop educational programmes to instil the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide fromÂ occurring again, and requested the United Nations Secretary-General to establish an outreach programme on the ‘Holocaust and the United Nationsâ€™, as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.
The Holocaust was a turning point in history, which prompted the world to say ‘never againâ€™. The significance of resolution A/RES/60/7 is that it calls for a remembrance of past crimesÂ with an eye towards preventing them in the future.”
But in South Africa, COSATUâ€™s international relations secretary Bongani Masuku, who was recently exposed as an anti-Semite by the countryâ€™s Human Rights Commission, has issued a press release announcing an anti-Israel rally in Soweto today (27 January).
The COSATU statement notes that “trade unions have a key and decisive role to play” in the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targetting the Jewish state.