South Korea Becomes First Asian Country to Adopt IHRA Antisemitism Definition

August 8, 2021

South Korea last week became the first Asian country to recognize the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

In a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid last week, South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong said his country had endorsed the definition, which has been adopted by more than thirty nations in Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East over the past five years.

Israel’s ambassador in Seoul, Akiva Tor, described South Korea’s move an “important step against hate.”

The most recent country to adopt the definition before South Korea was Switzerland in June.

At the Central America Forum for Israel last month, Ambassador Chris J. Lazaris — Chair of the Greek Presidency of IHRA — urged the nations of the region to adopt the definition to help combat rising Jew-hatred worldwide.

“One of the best ways to fight antisemitism is to use IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism,” he said. “One cannot effectively fight antisemitism if one cannot define it.”

In the month of July, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) tracked a total of 132 antisemitic incidents reported in the media internationally.

Of these, 38% (50 incidents) had far-right motives, while 26% (34 incidents) had far-left motives, and 18% (24 incidents) had Islamist motives. The remainder — 18% (24 incidents) — had unidentifiable motives.

For CAM’s weekly data reports on antisemitism across the globe, visit: combatantisemitism.org/newsletters