City of Worcester in England Adopts IHRA Definition Following Local Anti-Semitic Act

July 27, 2020

The city of Worcester in the United Kingdom has officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism after a member of the Worcester City Council was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack, the JC reported.

Conservative Councillor Louise Griffiths successfully petitioned her fellow councillors to adopt the IHRA definition after recounting her own horrible experience with anti-Semitism in Worcester.

Councillor Griffiths, who serves a member from the Conservative party, explained that a mezuzah (a small box containing parchment with verses from the Torah, that is placed on the right doorpost of Jewish homes) was torn off the front door of her Worcester home. The mezuzah was then sent back to her through the post and arrived in her mailbox with a swastika drawn on it.

The Councillors unanimously voted to adopted the IHRA definition last week after the anti-Semitic incident targeting Councillor Griffiths. Councillor Griffiths said she has observed a rise in anti-Semitism in the community in recent years.

Speaking on the IHRA definition’s passage, Griffiths said, “It will send a signal to the small Jewish community here in Worcester that our elected representatives care about them, that we won’t stand by and allow anti-Semitism to go unchallenged, and that we will put robust systems in place to ensure councillors and council employees are educated on anti-Semitic tropes and the dangers of using them.”

The city of Worcester has joined a growing list of cities and municipalities across the United Kingdom who have adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in order to combat rising anti-Semitism. Worcester, a city of about 100,000 people, is located in the county of Worcestershire, England, in the West Midlands region.

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