WJC US supports the decision of the U.S. Department of Education to utilize the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism when determining issues of antisemitism on college campuses under Title VI, which prohibits discrimination in order to promote an atmosphere of peace and tolerance on campus.
The use of this definition recognizes that some anti-Israel conduct crosses the line into antisemitism. Assistant Secretary Ken Marcus noted that, “In determining whether students face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived Jewish ancestry, we rely where appropriate upon widely established definitions of anti-Semitism. The IHRA working definition is widely used by governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, and is used by Office of Civil Rights as well.”
The World Jewish Congress believes that the IHRA Working Definition, including each of its 11 working examples, is critical identifying antisemitism. WJC strongly encourages all governments to adopt the definition and follow the United States’ example in combating antisemitism, which, sadly, is on the rise, including on university campuses.
While we remain cognizant of the importance of free speech on campus, we support Department of Education’s use of the IHRA definition in matters relating to Title VI, as it provides careful and recognized criteria for determining appropriate responses to the rise of antisemitism on campus and helps ensure a favorable environment for all students.