The Definition Of Antisemitism - World Jewish Congress

A guide to understanding: The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance & Defining Antisemitism

Initiated by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson in May 1998, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an international organization composed of 34 member countries dedicated to safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust and combating antisemitism. Originally founded as the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, the IHRA has been an international leader in Holocaust education since its formation.

The Working Definition of Antisemitism

On 26 May 2016, the IHRA Plenary decided to adopt the following nonlegally binding working definition of Antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The definition of antisemitism was originally drafted with the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), which worked with several prominent Jewish organizations to draft a comprehensive definition of antisemitism. However, in 2009 EUMC was replaced by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which decided that it would not provide a definition to any form of prejudice, including antisemitism.

Explaining the decision, then-IHRA Chair, Romanian Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, stated, “All IHRA Member Countries share the concern that incidents of antisemitism are steadily rising and agree that the IHRA’s Member Countries and indeed the IHRA’s experts need political tools with which to fight this scourge. The IHRA’s 31 member countries -- 24 of which are EU member countries -- are committed to the Stockholm Declaration and thereby to fighting the evil of antisemitism through coordinated international political action.”

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