Amid Rise in Antisemitism, Virginia Legislature Adopts IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism
February 27, 2023
On Thursday February 23, 2023, the Virginia legislature passed HB 1606 adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, including its contemporary examples. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is expected to sign the bill following his executive order acknowledging this definition of antisemitism in January 2022. Governor Youngkin convened a commission to combat antisemitism this past year and its first recommendation was to adopt this IHRA definition.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) played an active role in this important endeavor and applauds this important step by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which now means that 30 U.S. states have officially recognized the IHRA Working Definition, either by the legislative process or executive order.
“Each and every acknowledgment of this specific definition of antisemitism is a critically important first step in combating jew-hatred in all its various forms and I was pleased to play a role in this important achievement,” said Elan Carr, former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, and member of the Combat Antisemitism Movement Advisory Board. “States need the tools to educate its law enforcement, employees, and citizens on the ways antisemitic behavior is often hiding in plain sight and the IHRA definition is the key building block to do so. I praise the Virginia legislature and Governor Youngkin on this achievement and encourage every city, state, and country in the world to follow their lead.”
“Hate has no place in the Commonwealth and I’m proud to take continued steps to fight antisemitism,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin in a press release on Friday. “I am truly inspired by the devotion shown to transform what started as an idea into a law that will change how we combat antisemitism in the Commonwealth. I want to thank everyone who poured their heart and soul into seeing this bill pass.”
Total adoptions of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism as of February 2023 include more than 1,100 global entities, which consist of nations, cities, for-profit companies, universities, non-profits, political parties, and many others. CAM has produced a report tracking adoption of the IHRA definition worldwide, which can be found here.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) is a global coalition engaging more than 650 partner organizations and nearly two million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred. CAM acts collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.
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