By Rachel Guez (France), member of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) welcomes French National Assembly's recognition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The definition importantly encompasses various manifestations of antisemitism including applying blatant double standards to the State of Israel. In response to the vote, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “The passage of IHRA definition by the French National Assembly is a crucial step in the fight against the age-old hatred of antisemitism. For too long too many have used the excuse that their obsessive criticism of Israel stands exclusive from their otherwise positive feelings for the Jewish people. Those days are now over.”
Unfortunately, we are experiencing a surge in antisemitic attacks and events across Europe, including in France, requiring the greatest attention of governments, judiciary, law enforcement and educational institutions. Antisemitism can only be forcefully and effectively addressed once the problem has been clearly defined, in a comprehensive and universal fashion. It was in this vein that the member countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) unanimously adopted in 2016 a working definition of antisemitism.
In its essence, the definition of antisemitism, drafted with input from many of the world’s foremost experts and agreed upon by the 31 country members of IHRA in 2016, was an unprecedented collaborative effort to define antisemitism using the same vocabulary and criteria; antisemitism crosses all borders, and so should its definition.
Indeed, all promoters of the values of democracy, tolerance, and human rights should follow the example of the Republic of France to stand united in calling antisemitism by its name and making every effort to universally combat this age-old hatred once and for all.
We, members of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, are deeply thankful to President Macron and the National Assembly of France for advancing this crucial issue.
The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, the flagship program of the World Jewish Congress, strengthens and empowers a new generation of outstanding Jewish leaders by providing them with the opportunities, experience, and network to impact Jewish interests through diplomacy and public policy.