by Israel W. Charny
In the study of readers’ responses to a number of articles in the Journal of Genocide Research (JGR), it was reported that in recent years the journal featured a number of articles that repeatedly asserted or implied that the Holocaust was ‘just another event’ in the history of genocides and played no role whatsoever in the epical process of the creation of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, nor was it of any influence in the formulation and passage of the heartwarming Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Thus, Marco Duranti “questions the centrality of the Holocaust” and he argues that the Holocaust did not play a significant role also in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He draws proof for his argument from his determination that “progenitors of the Universal Declaration did not speak at the United Nations of the Holocaust as a unique evil.”
About the latter Duranti concludes –
This study… argues against conceptualizing the drafting of the Universal Declaration as an exceptional moment of Holocaust remembrance in the immediate aftermath of the war.
In this same issue, the editor of the journal, Dirk A. Moses wrote with consummate certainty in a discussion of a controversy about the Holocaust gallery in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnepeg, his absolute judgment:
The existence of a Holocaust gallery cannot be expunged for political and financial reasons, even though its justification is hardly convincing. Having abandoned justifications for the Holocaust’s centrality – namely that its horror led to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Genocide Convention in 1948… the ways in which the Holocaust is …distinct make it a poor archetype for understanding other genocides.
There are, of course, endless evidences of the central role of the Holocaust in the formulation of both documents, and with the politics of their passages in the U.N. so soon after the end of WWII and revelation of the horrors of the Holocaust.
In an article that is basically a powerful critique of current manifestations of serious racism in Israel, Daniel Blatman, a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, notes the strong connection between the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 which designated January 27 – the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated – as International Holocaust Remembrance Day with both the UN Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
In its very first section, Resolution 60/7 mentions the connection between the resolution and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “which proclaims that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, religion or other status.”
Resolution 60/7 of the United Nations in 2005 continues: “Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person; Recalling also article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Bearing in mind that the founding principle of the Charter of the United Nations, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, “is testimony to the indelible link between the United Nations and the unique tragedy of the Second World War.”
The resolution mentions explicitly the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948 ‘in order to avoid repetition of genocides such as those committed by the Nazi regime.’
Later, Resolution 60/7 mentions the Jewish tragedy… reaffirming that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.
The resolution then calls on the UN member countries to ‘develop educational programs that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide; rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part; condemns without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur.’ 
The Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem has long been a proponent of memorial, and respect for all genocides of all peoples. This was the basic meaning of the convening of the “First International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide” in Tel Aviv in 1982, and subsequently the founding of the Institute by Israel W. Charny, Ph.D., Shamai Davidson, M.D., and Elie Wiesel. Indeed, the Institute’s emphasis on the study of all genocides has been the source of considerable criticism and distancing from its work by much of the ‘Holocaust Establishment.’ Even for Elie Wiesel, a co-founder of the Institute, the issue was troubling, and I have in my files at least one personal letter to me in which he exhorts me not to refer to “genocides in the plural.”
However, it is our conviction that understanding the Holocaust in a universal context with all other cases of genocide, and the study of genocide is a universal process that needs to be confronted and contained, in no way should lead to minimization or other denials of the Holocaust.
For more complete information on the studies of readers’ responses to the contents of JGR articles, see http://www.ihgjlm.com/denial-of-genocide/. Note that the information provided includes references to several major criticisms of the studies by other genocide scholars.
 Charny, Israel W. (2016). Holocaust Minimization, Anti-Israel Themes, and Antisemitism: Bias at the Journal of Genocide Research. Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, Vol.7. http://jsantisemitism.org/images/journals/articles/Holocaust-Minimization-Anti-Israel-&-Antisemitism-at-JGR.pdf
 Duranti, Marco (2012). The Holocaust, the legacy of 1789 and the birth of international human rights law: Revisiting the foundation myth. Journal of Genocide Research. 14(2), 159-186. Quotations from pp. 180, 159, 180.
 Moses, Dirk A (2012). The Canadian Museum for Human Rights: The ‘uniqueness of the Holocaust’ and the question of genocide. Journal of Genocide Research, 14(2), 215-238. Quotations from pp. 216, 232.
 Blatman, Daniel (January 28, 2018). International Holocaust Remembrance Day: An Israeli hypocrisy: If a racism survey were held in Western countries like the one on anti-Semitism, Israel would be near the top of the list. Haaretz English Edition. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-international-holocaust-remembrance-day-an-israeli-hypocrisy-1.5768945