A recent media report indicated that the White House is facing pressure to exclude the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA) from its national antisemitism strategy plan that is expected to be released soon.
In response, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) — a global coalition engaging more than 700 partner organizations and three million people — is issuing a reminder that more than 1,160 governing bodies and institutions worldwide have adopted or endorsed the IHRA’s definition — from nations, states, universities, political parties, non-profit organizations, religious bodies, sports franchises, to leaders across the political spectrum. The definition is already widely used throughout the U.S. federal government, including by the Department of State and the Department of Education. A majority of U.S. states, 31, have also adopted the definition.
“Any national strategy to combat Jew-hatred that excludes the IHRA Working Definition — the most authoritative and widely-accepted delineation of all forms of contemporary antisemitism globally — would be severely compromised from the start,” said CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “It is the world’s gold standard definition and a key pillar in government strategies to combat all forms of antisemitism.”
Any national strategy to combat Jew-hatred that excludes @theIHRA Working Definition — the most authoritative and widely-accepted delineation of all forms of contemporary antisemitism globally — would be severely compromised from the start. https://t.co/LDeY8Zporf
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) May 17, 2023
A January 2023 report from CAM and the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University covers the broad scope of the various 1,160 entities that have already adopted the definition.
The European Commission, which adopted the definition in 2018, cited it multiple times in its first-ever comprehensive “EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life” that was unveiled in October 2021, and has encouraged all member states to use the definition as part of national strategies to combat antisemitism and foster Jewish life.
The definition has been acknowledged by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who in 2018 said, “I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the member countries of the [IHRA] to agree on a common definition of antisemitism. Such a definition can serve as a basis for law enforcement, as well as preventive policies.”
A total of 41 countries have adopted the definition, including most Western democracies, representing hundreds of millions of people. Nations such as Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Argentina, and even Muslim-majority Albania have taken this step. The most recent national adoptions were by Latvia, Croatia, Australia, Estonia, Guatemala, Poland, South Korea, and Switzerland.
In its report, CAM has also compiled data demonstrating support for the definition across the political spectrum globally, including by left-wing parties who have adopted the definition, from the Labour Party in the UK, to SPD in Germany, as well as others in France, Canada, and elsewhere.
In this short video, CAM explains the importance of the definition and its 11 explanatory examples of contemporary antisemitism.
Members of both major political parties in the U.S. have repeatedly endorsed the definition, recognizing its significance in identifying and addressing antisemitism effectively. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken provided his “enthusiastic” support of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism in 2021. Former President Donald Trump codified that same definition in a 2019 executive order, and former President Barack Obama’s administration adopted the definition as guidance on antisemitism for the Department of State’s global efforts to combat antisemitism.
As a member state of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the United States voted for the Alliance’s adoption of the definition in 2016. The intergovernmental organization consists of 35 member and 10 observer countries with a permanent office in Berlin.