Thirty one countries voted to adopt a new working definition of anti-Semitism, a move hailed by human rights activists as an important milestone in countering hatred.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA]—an intergovernmental group comprised of 31 nations—adopted a definition based on the 2005 European Monitoring Centre (EUMC) Working Definition, which describes anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” that can also target the State of Israel.
The definition clearly notes that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” But accusations of dual loyalty and the use of double standards against the Jewish state, as well as tenets of anti-Zionism like the denial of Jewish rights to self-determination, are also considered manifestations of anti-Semitism.
“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,” said chairman, Mihnea Constantinescu of Romania, noting shared concerns about the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents within member states.
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