Meanwhile, Facebook officials, citing free speech, have refused the survivors’ emotional appeal.
"We think it's important to maintain consistency in our policies, which don't generally prohibit people from making statements about historical events," said a Facebook spokesman. "No matter how ignorant the statement or how awful the event."
Simon Wiesenthal’s Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, clearly does not accept Facebook’s explanation.
"A review of denial sites currently active on Facebook confirms that it is not mere speech, but that it constitutes at its core a platform for bigotry and hatred of Jews, dead and alive," said Cooper, who insists that he will continue to try and convince Facebook to removed the objectionable material.
'Shameless, cynical and hateful propaganda'The letter, which appears on the Simon Wiesenthal website, reads as follows:
"We, the undersigned, are Holocaust survivors who saw our parents, children and loved ones brutally murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. We are writing to you to protest Facebook’s policy that categorizes Holocaust denial as 'free speech', rather than the shameless, cynical and hateful propaganda that it is.
"Listen to the voices of Holocaust Survivors. We volunteer and speak at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the Museum of Tolerance (MOT), where we have shared our personal testimonies with millions of visitors and youth.
"As individuals who are both victims of and witnesses to the truth of the horrors and hate of that time period, we are deeply hurt and offended by your policy that protects Holocaust denial as speech. Above all else, Holocaust denial, in any form, is a desecration of our suffering the suffering and martyrdom of our murdered parents, brothers and sisters.
"The SWC has assured us that Facebook is a company with integrity, a company that is willing to live up to its moral and social responsibilities, as you have done in the past by removing hateful postings. Therefore, we have chosen to write to you, under the good auspices of the SWC & MOT, and appeal to you, both individually and collectively, to reevaluate your existing policy.
"Do not permit Holocaust denial any platform on Facebook to preach its inherent message of lies and hate. By allowing this hate propaganda on Facebook, you are exposing the public and, in particular, youth to the anti-Semitism which fueled the Holocaust. Please correct this terrible error in judgment before our generation passes away."
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life
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