The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Tuesday commended the British government for adopting a binding definition of anti-Semitism agreed upon last May by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental agency of 31 Western countries.
WJC CEO Robert Singer said: “It’s critical that all countries apply the same criteria when it comes to dealing with hatred of Jews, no matter how trivial it may seem. Anti-Semitism is the oldest forms of racial hatred, and we need binding criteria for measuring it. It’s high time this process now be brought to completion and we commend the British government for taking a lead on implementing the working definition already agreed upon by so many countries last May.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Monday evening her decision to introduce the definition, which states that "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."
May said: “It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a groundbreaking step. It means there will be one definition of antisemitism – in essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews – and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”
On Tuesday, the UK government published its response to the findings of a parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism (download here).