Biden adopts widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism

“That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

By World Israel News Staff

The Biden administration committed on Tuesday to adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald said in an address to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): “We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize anti-Semitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action.

“That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

“As prior U.S. administrations of both political stripes have done, the Biden administration embraces and champions the working definition. We applaud the growing number of countries and international bodies that apply it. We urge all that haven’t done so to do likewise,” McDonald said.

The Biden administration continues the policy of its predecessor, which adopted the definition and went still further, applying it in the Education Department to allegations of anti-Semitism on campus. Most anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses is cloaked in anti-Zionism. The IHRA definition includes anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations commended the news, noting “it is critically important to define anti-Semitism in order to combat it successfully.”

The IHRA definition has been opposed by far-left Jewish groups, several of which issued a public statement in January saying it would stifle criticism of Israel.

They were joined by the U.S. Reform movement, which issued its own statement weeks later for the same reason, saying, “We will oppose any effort to use the definition to silence, marginalize, or shun those seeking to positively contribute to the public conversation.”

According to the IHRA, examples of anti-Semitic targeting could include “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

However, the IHRA leaves room for criticism of Israel, noting that when said criticism is “similar to that leveled against any other country [it] cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”