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CAM Applauds Kansas Senate for Making State 20th to Adopt IHRA Antisemitism Definition

A view of the Kansas State Senate Chamber during Tuesday's vote. Photo: Twitter account of Consul General of Israel in Miami Maor Elbaz-Starinsky.

March 23, 2022

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) applauds the Kansas State Senate for its passage on Tuesday, via unanimous consent, of a concurrent resolution to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The Senate’s move — which made Kansas the 20th U.S. state to adopt or endorse the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism — came a month after the Kansas State House of Representatives approved the resolution, HCR 5030, by a bipartisan 121-0 vote.

“The state of Kansas adopts the non-legally binding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism, including the 11 contemporary examples,” the resolution says.

Furthermore, it adds, the Kansas Department of Administration “shall ensure that the IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism is made available as an educational resource for all state agencies.”

In its opening, the resolution refers to the “growing problem of antisemitism in the United States” and calls the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism “an important tool to address the problem.”

CAM — through the work of Kansas-based volunteer Marjorie Robinow — and the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee played an important role in advocating for the resolution and promoting its advancement.

“The passage of this resolution in Kansas is highly symbolic, especially considering the murderous shooting that took place at the JCC of Greater Kansas City a number of years ago,” CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa stated. “That this passed without any opposition speaks volumes about how seriously Kansas is taking the issue of antisemitism.”

“As the resolution itself makes clear, the IHRA definition has become the internationally-recognized and authoritative definition used by governments, international organizations and educational institutions, and we hope that other American states that have not adopted it yet will do so soon, especially with the worrying increase in antisemitism in the U.S.,” he added. “CAM will continue to push for this in the U.S. and across the globe.”

Watch a video of the Kansas State Senate vote here:

In an interview with CAM earlier this month, Kansas State Representative Col. (Ret.) Chris Croft said one purpose of the resolution was to “raise awareness.”

“Just by us simply talking about it and putting it out there, it opens the discussion,” he noted. “And it is incumbent on us to continue that conversation. What this resolution did was highlight the issue, get people talking about it, and it’s now creating a dialogue. So, I think this is the beginning, not the end, but it’s a great start to the process.”

One of the most effective steps a state can take — via legislation, resolutions, executive orders, and/or executive proclamations — to fight Jew-hatred is to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. A CAM Information Hub database of information on states that have done so can be accessed here.

Additionally, a new study published by CAM and the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University shows that 865 entities around the world have adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism since 2016. The report is believed to be the world’s most comprehensive list of IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism adoptions and endorsements.