Scottish Jews seek reassurance from Sturgeon over IHRA

More than 200 sign letter expressing concern over stance of Green Party ministers


More than 200 members of Scotland’s Jewish community have signed a letter to press First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over the commitment of Scottish Green Party ministers to the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

In a hybrid meeting with the community last month, Ms Sturgeon gave assurances that all ministers have to sign up to and accept the IHRA definition and “that includes the two Green ministers”. But her response was not enough to assuage doubts among some Scottish Jews.

Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater from the Scottish Greens joined the Scottish government last summer.

In 2015, their party adopted a policy branding Zionism a “racist ideology based on Jewish supremacy in Palestine”.

The letter to the First Minister was instigated and signed by Glasgow-based activist Sammy Stein.

He noted that “many in the audience and those that joined online were most disappointed that you did not provide a clear answer to the matter of the two Scottish Green ministers and whether they are signatories to the IHRA definition of antisemitism... To the best of my knowledge, neither of them has signed up to the IHRA definition despite the fact that they were invited by you to join your government in August 2021.”

However, a government spokesman told the JC on Tuesday: “As the First Minister has made clear, antisemitism is utterly unacceptable and there is no place for it in Scotland. The Scottish Government has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s [IHRA] definition of antisemitism.

“This means all ministers in the Scottish Government, including those from the Green Party, sign up and adhere to the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”

The Scottish Green Party commented: “The Scottish Government has adopted the IHRA and Patrick and Lorna are ministers in that government. That has been the position since they went into government in the first place.”

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