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Thirty one countries adopt working definition of antisemitism

    The IHRA Chair addresses the Plenary (Picture: IHRA)
    The IHRA Chair addresses the Plenary (Picture: IHRA)

    The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has adopted a working definition of antisemitism.

    The IHRA, which is made up of 31 member countries, and has a unique mandate to focus on education, research and remembrance of the Holocaust, agreed on the non-legally binding definition last month. The definition states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

    Sir Eric Pickles, UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and Head of the UK delegation to the IHRA said:

    "I am delighted that IHRA has adopted, by consensus, this working definition of antisemitism, and I particularly congratulate our chairman Mihnea Constantinescu from Romania for his leadership on this issue. With this definition agreed by 31 countries, we can step up our efforts in the fight against antisemitism internationally."

    IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu said: “By adopting this working definition, the IHRA is setting an example of responsible conduct for other international fora and hopes to inspire them also to take action on a legally binding working definition.”

    The decision was made at the IHRA’s first bi-annual plenary meeting in Bucharest this May, where around 200 experts and policymakers from all over the world met to discuss the Holocaust as a contemporary political issue. The committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, chaired by Mark Weitzman, proposed the adoption of a definition. Mr Weitzman said: “In order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism actually is. This is not a simple question. The adopted working definition helps provide guidance in answer to this challenging question.”

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