New Mexico becomes sixth US state to legally adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism

The state has become the 23rd to endorse the definition in some form


"Please view more Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA photos here:"

New Mexico has become the sixth US state to legally adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism into its legal system.

The Southwestern state will use IHRA as its legal standard for anti-Jewish discrimination from now on.

The state’s Democrat Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, approved an executive order on Tuesday that established the definition as the legal standard for determining if unlawful discriminatory conduct has been motivated by antisemitism.

Lujan Grisham has previously criticised the United Nations Security Council's condemnation of Israel's settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The order states that: “All state agencies within the Executive Department of the State of New Mexico shall adopt and use the IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism, including its contemporary examples.”

It continues: “In reviewing, investigating, or deciding whether there has been a violation of any relevant policy, law, or regulation prohibiting discriminatory acts, state agencies shall take into consideration the definition for purposes of determining whether the alleged act was motivated by discriminatory antisemitic intent.”

Roz Rothstein, CEO, and co-founder of the Israel education nonprofit StandWithUs responded to the news via Twitter, writing, “Thank you - New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who just issued an Executive Order adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism for state agencies! You are a role model!”

While Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Iowa, Arizona, and Tennessee have already enacted laws based on IHRA, New Mexico is the first to do so via executive order.

A further twenty-two US states have endorsed the definition as an educational tool.

The IHRA definition offers examples of situations in which holding Israel to double standards or employing antisemitic tropes to characterise Zionism are antisemitic. The definition does not state that criticism of Israel is antisemitic. 

The US State Department and over 800 entities in the US and beyond have said they are using the definition.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive