West Midlands Region of England Adopts the IHRA Definition

September 2, 2020

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the West Midlands Combined Authority, representing the entire West Midlands region of England, unanimously decided to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. The decision is intended to provide clarity for what exactly constitutes racism against Jewish people.

The definition was approved and adopted by all seven constituent member councils of the West Midlands region earlier this summer after consultation Jewish communal groups. The West Midlands joins other combined authorities such as Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Liverpool City Region, North East Combined Authority and the Greater London Authority in formally adopting the IHRA definition. In total, over 260 councils in England and Wales have adopted the IHRA definition.

The West Midlands region includes Birmingham, the second most populous city in England and home to one of largest Jewish communities in the country.

The Conservative Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, said he was “proud to be mayor of an extremely diverse region, but we must not pretend that hate crime and prejudice don’t still exist.” Street continued, “Nobody should be the victim of hate because of their faith or heritage, which is why I have been working closely with our Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle this, and why I was so keen for the WMCA to sign up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. I am pleased the WMCA board has now agreed the definition, and I hope this serves as a symbol to not only the Jewish community in the region but all communities, that the West Midlands stands together against all forms of hate and prejudice.”

Councillor Brigid Jones, the Labour deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, commented, “Adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition highlights that there is no place for anti-Semitism in the West Midlands. As we reconnect as a region following the pandemic, we should remember that inclusivity should be at the heart of everything we do and that all of our communities should be respected and not subjected to prejudice or hatred in any form.”

The West Midlands is one of nine official regions of England and has an estimated population of about 5,713,000 people.

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