At CAM Summit, Congressman Ted Deutch Urges US Government to Adopt IHRA Anti-Semitism Definition

US Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL).

March 2, 2021

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) urged the US government on Monday to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.

In remarks delivered at the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement’s first-ever Annual Global Summit, Deutch declared, “Anti-Semitism left unchecked will only keep spreading. That applies to both the anti-Semitism on the political left and on the political right. And we can only effectively fight anti-Semitism if we are willing to call it out wherever it appears.”

Deutch — a founding co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism and the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism — added, “To be consistent I believe requires adopting the IHRA definition, giving our government the tools needed to protect the American Jewish community. That is an effort that I look forward to continuing to lead.”

Referencing the recent controversy surrounding a “Saturday Night Live” skit that has been widely condemned as anti-Semitic, Deutch noted, “If the writers at SNL were familiar with this definition — again, developed based on the long history of antisemitism in the world — and familiar with the definition’s modern examples of what it looks like today, then they and NBC might be in a better position to understand and appreciate why so many of us were so offended by last week’s unfortunate attempt at humor.”

Watch Deutch’s speech in full here:

The IHRA definition states, “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’s accompanying list of examples details 11 specific behaviors used to discriminate against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, including:

• Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

• Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

• Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

• Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

• Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

• Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

• Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

• Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

• Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

• Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

• Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.