NEW YORK – In response to former United Nations Special Rapporteur E. Tendayi Achiume’s call for countries to suspend the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, the World Jewish Congress issued the following statement:
“It is deeply regrettable that having resigned her post and on the last day of her mandate, Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, decided to engage in petty and ill-informed politics. In her final report to the United Nations General Assembly, she attacks the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, a widely acclaimed tool in the fight against this ancient scourge. Most egregiously, she calls upon countries to suspend the definition’s adoption and promotion.
“Ms. Tendayi Achiume issued this report after consulting only a handful of arbitrary and one-sided sources. She did not make any effort to seek the opinion of those who are most directly impacted by antisemitism, namely Jewish communities across the globe and their umbrella organization, the World Jewish Congress, which has consistently cooperated with and provided information to her office since the beginning of her term. In issuing her report, the former Special Rapporteur denies the right of the Jewish people and of Jewish communities to define Jew-hatred and instead, assigns that task to others.
“Additionally, the former Special Rapporteur did not bother to consult with IHRA itself, an international organization dedicated to Holocaust education, research and remembrance, or some 40 countries and hundreds of municipalities, sports clubs, universities, businesses and associations that have successfully adopted and implemented the definition.
“Rather than advancing the fight against antisemitism, the former Special Rapporteur has significantly weakened it, thereby providing aid and comfort to Jew-haters everywhere. Is this the ‘open and inclusive process’ she touts in her report?
We appreciate the efforts of the following countries that backed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and stood against the former United Nations Special Rapporteur’s recommendation: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and the European Union.”
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