Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Adopts IHRA Antisemitism Definition

The Presidency Building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

July 24, 2022

The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted this week the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The move was announced on Twitter on Friday by Milorad Dodik, the Serb representative in the three-member Presidency body.

“Upon my initiative, the Presidency of BiH adopted today legally non-binding definition of anti-semitism,” he wrote. “By doing so, BiH has joined other 30 countries that also adopted the same definition.”

During a trip to Israel earlier this week, Dodik said, “It is no secret that I feel a great appreciation for the State of Israel and I simply love the Jewish people, mainly due to the sense of historical partnership that my people went through with the Jews during World War II.”

Nearly 1,000 entities — including more than three dozen countries — worldwide have adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism since 2016, according to a study published by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University earlier this year.

The definition includes 11 explanatory examples detailing specific discriminatory behaviors targeting Jews and the State of Israel.

Promoting the adoption of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is a top priority for CAM. We warmly welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina’s decision, and hope additional countries will follow suit in taking this important step in combating antisemitism, in all its contemporary manifestations.

Other groups praising the move included the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, with CEO William Daroff tweeting, “We commend Bosnia + Herzegovina for adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Thank you President @MiloradDodik for your initiative, following your successful visit to Israel this week.”

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) tweeted, “Fighting hate requires drawing a firm line in the sand. Thank you to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for ensuring the country joins the list of those that have adopted @TheIHRA definition of antisemitism.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s adoption of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism came two years after the Balkans Forum Against Antisemitism hosted by the Parliament of the Republic of Albania, in partnership with CAM and the Jewish Agency for Israel — a first-of-its-kind event that brought leaders from the region and across the world together fight the age-old societal scourge of Jew-hatred and build better, more tolerant societies for future generations.