Top US Jewish Umbrella Organization Adopts IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism
January 26, 2021
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and 51 of its member groups announced on Tuesday they had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.
“At a time of increased antisemitism at home and abroad, as well as great divisiveness in America, American Jewry is sending a clear message that we are united in our determination to combat antisemitism in all of its manifestations,” said Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The IHRA definition, which is anchored in the principles of human and civil rights, as well as antidiscrimination principles and policy, serves as an educational tool to assist local, state, and national authorities that are responsible for identifying, combating, and monitoring antisemitism and hate speech. It also helps to educate the public about the multidimensional and evolving nature of antisemitism today.”
They added, “In order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism actually is. The adopted working definition helps provide guidance in addressing this challenge.”
“The Conference of Presidents intends to build upon this unprecedented communal agreement to encourage others to adopt the definition, as a key tool to combat antisemitism. The unity reflects our commitment to take on the dangers posed by Jew-hatred in a unified and coherent effort,” they concluded.
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.
Watch a Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) video about the IHRA definition below: