IHRA antisemitism definition sees ‘widespread consensus’

The IHRA standard has become a “barometer in the global fight against Jew-hatred.”

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

At least two hundred institutions in 2021 endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, according to a study released last week.

First adopted in 2005 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the IHRA definition states that “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and includes a list of illustrative examples ranging from Holocaust denial to the rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

In 2021, Australia, Estonia, Guatemala, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland adopted the definition, with the Philippines’ Feb. 2022 decision bringing the total of country endorsements to 37. At least 60 colleges and universities did the same in 2021, as well 39 non-federal governments and 96 NGOs and other groups.

The IHRA standard has become a “barometer in the global fight against Jew-hatred, serving as a comprehensive and well-known tool to monitor, measure and ultimately combat contemporary manifestations of this age-old societal scourge,” said the report, which was commissioned by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.

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The study also noted that in total, 865 organizations have endorsed the working definition, including 19 states in the US, 204 local governing bodies in the United Kingdom, and 314 educational institutions — including 236 in the UK. Top soccer leagues in Germany, Austria and Italy joined their ranks last year, following the previous examples of the English Premier League and the Argentine Football Association.

Experiences in the UK and Australia have shown that when the standard is endorsed by national governments, local bodies are likely to follow suit, the study said.

“The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is increasingly a key pillar in government strategies in the struggle against all forms of contemporary antisemitism,” it continued. “The growing pace of adoptions across all sectors and layers of society is expected to continue in the years ahead.”