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General Articles
Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism

16.06.16
Editorial Note

On the 26th of May, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), chaired by Romania's special representative Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, adopted the Working Definition of Antisemitism, first published in 2005 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).  The Working Definition of Antisemitism is already being referred to by a number of bodies such as the U.S Department of State in its antisemitism Fact Sheet, the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism, the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism in their London and  Ottawa protocols, and the UK College of Policing.   

The Working Definition of Antisemitism 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.” It lists a number of examples: 

- 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. 

To combat antisemitism, the European Commission Directorate-General Justice and Consumers launched in Brussels a High Level Group in June 2016. In the Speech Commissioner Vera Jourova stated, "Evidence shows that threats against Jewish people and acts of Antisemitism are on the rise in many Member States...Let us develop, under the guidance of the Fundamental Rights Agency, a common methodology to record incidents and collect comparable data on hate crimes."


IHRA reports that the German Chair-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) intends to encourage the endorsement of the Working Definition of Antisemitism at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg on 8-9 December 2016. IAM will report on this development.


Romanian Chairmanship 2016

Bucharest, 26 May 2016
 
In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism. 

On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to: 

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism: “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.” 

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations: 

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits. 

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to: 

 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. 

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). 
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews. 
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries. 


==================================================================================


Fact Sheet: Adoption of a Working Definition of Antisemitism
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
31 May 2016
1. On 26 May 2016 in Bucharest, the Plenary of the International Holocaust Remembrance
the Romanian Chairmanship.
2. The IHRA Plenary consists of 31 Member Countries- 24 of which are EU member
countries.
3. The IHRA is the only intergovernmental organization mandated to focus solely on
Holocaust-related issues and has the responsibility to deal with the issue of antisemitism
as it is directly embedded in the organization’s founding document, the Stockholm
4. The IHRA is the first intergovernmental body to adopt this working definition.
5. The recommendation that the IHRA adopt the working definition came from the experts
6. The working definition aims to guide the IHRA in its work and to illustrate how
antisemitism could manifest itself.
7. The adopted working definition of antisemitism is based on a definition first published by
the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) in 2005, now the
Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).
8. Prior to the IHRA adoption, the working definition of antisemitism was already being
referred to in some form by a number of bodies (for example, the European Parliament
Antisemitism call for adoption in their London and Ottawa protocols, the U.S Department
of State in its antisemitism report, and the UK’s College of Policing.)
9. NGOs which deal with monitoring and reporting on antisemitism have been calling for
the adoption of the working definition since 2005, for example in the outcome of the
in 2013, the working definition of antisemitism provides another tool to allow countries
and organizations to identify and thereby combat antisemitism.
11. Initiatives undertaken by other international bodies demonstrate the widespread
acknowledgment of the problem of antisemitism: in 2004 the OSCE issued the Berlin
Declaration and appointed a Personal Representative on Combatting Antisemitism; in
December 2015 the European Commission appointed the first Coordinator on
Combatting Antisemitism; the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament Anti-
Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) will hold a seminar on combatting antisemitism
in Brussels in June 2016; the German Chair-in-Office of the OSCE would like to
encourage the endorsement of the working definition of antisemitism at the 23rd OSCE
Ministerial Council in Hamburg on 8/9 December 2016.
Media Contact: Laura Robertson



International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
REMEMBRANCE
HOLOCAUST
ALLIANCE
INTERNATIONAL
Press Release
IHRA Plenary
Meetings Bucharest
23-26 May 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Press Release
2
IHRA Plenary Meetings
Bucharest, Romania
26 May 2016
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopts a working
definition of antisemitism. The consensus decision on the adopted decision was
reached after in-depth discussion of the issue during the IHRA Plenary meetings
held in Bucharest from 23-26 May.
IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu stated:
“All IHRA Member Countries share concern that incidents of
antisemitism are steadily rising and agree that IHRA’s Member
Countries and indeed IHRA’s experts need political tools with
which to fight this scourge. IHRA’s 31 member countries- 24
of which are EU member countries- are committed to the
Stockholm Declaration and thereby to fighting the evil of
antisemitism through coordinated international political
action.”
The IHRA Chair continued: “By adopting this working
definition, the IHRA is setting an example of responsible
conduct for other international for and hopes to inspire them
also to take action on a legally binding working definition.”
The Chair underlined the fact that as a body of 31 Member
with a unique mandate to focus on education, research and remembrance of the
Holocaust, the IHRA was the appropriate body to adopt a working definition of
antisemitism. The IHRA Chair noted the fundamental role that the German OSCE
Chairmanship-in-Office played in facilitating the adoption of the working
definition.
Mark Weitzman, Chair of the IHRA Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust
Denial, which proposed the adoption of the definition in 2015, said: “In order to
begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what
antisemitism actually is. This is not a simple question. The adopted working
definition helps provide guidance in answer to this challenging question. Crucially,
the definition adopted by the IHRA is endorsed by experts, is relevant and is of
practical applicability. Together with the IHRA adopted Working Definition of
Holocaust Denial and Distortion, the working definition of antisemitism provides
another tool in the IHRA tool kit for combatting antisemitism.”
Killing Sites Report
“With humanity still scarred by genocide,
ethnic cleansing, racism, antisemitism
and xenophobia, the international
community shares a solemn responsibility
to fight those evils. Together we must
uphold the terrible truth of the Holocaust
against those who deny it.
Stockholm Declaration, 2000

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Press Release
3
Notes for Editors
The IHRA held its first bi-annual Plenary meeting under the Romanian
Chairmanship from 23-26 May 2016 in Bucharest where over four days around 200
experts and policymakers from all over the world met to discuss the Holocaust as
a contemporary political issue.
The IHRA’s Committee on Holocaust Denial and Antisemitism was set up in order
to form a common approach to address the upsurge in antisemitism and Holocaust
denial and trivialization. The Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial is
tasked with assessing the situation and submitting to the Plenary annual
recommendations on measures to be taken to fight antisemitism in all its different
forms.
IHRA is a unique intergovernmental organization which places political and social
leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and
research both nationally and internationally.
For a picture of the IHRA’s year in review, please see the organization’s online
If you would like to cover the IHRA Plenary meetings or the working definition of
antisemitism covered in this press release, please send an email with details of the
media outlet you work for to the email address below.
Media Contact: Laura Robertson
IHRA | International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Lindenstraße 20-25 | 10969 Berlin | Germany

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Press Release
4
Declaration of the Stockholm International
Forum on the Holocaust
We, High Representatives of Governments at the Stockholm International Forum on the
Holocaust, declare that:
1. The Holocaust (Shoah) fundamentally
challenged the foundations of civilization. The
unprecedented character of the Holocaust will
always hold universal meaning. After half a
century, it remains an event close enough in time
that survivors can still bear witness to the horrors
that engulfed the Jewish people. The terrible
suffering of the many millions of other victims of
the Nazis has left an indelible scar across
Europe as well.
2. The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and
carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared
in our collective memory. The selfless sacrifices
of those who defied the Nazis, and sometimes
gave their own lives to protect or rescue the
Holocaust’s victims, must also be inscribed in our
hearts. The depths of that horror, and the heights
of their heroism, can be touchstones in our
understanding of the human capacity for evil and
for good.
3. With humanity still scarred by genocide, ethnic
cleansing, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia,
the international community shares a solemn
responsibility to fight those evils. Together we
must uphold the terrible truth of the Holocaust
against those who deny it. We must strengthen
the moral commitment of our peoples, and the
political commitment of our governments, to
ensure that future generations can understand
the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its
consequences.
4. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote
education, remembrance and research about the
Holocaust, both in those of our countries that
have already done much and those that choose
to join this effort.
5. We share a commitment to encourage the
study of the Holocaust in all its dimensions. We
will promote education about the Holocaust in
our schools and universities, in our communities
and encourage it in other institutions.
6. We share a commitment to commemorate the
victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who
stood against it. We will encourage appropriate
forms of Holocaust remembrance, including an
annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance, in our
countries.
7. We share a commitment to throw light on the
still obscured shadows of the Holocaust. We will
take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening
of archives in order to ensure that all documents
bearing on the Holocaust are available to
researchers.
8. It is appropriate that this, the first major
international conference of the new millenium,
declares its commitment to plant the seeds of a
better future amidst the soil of a bitter past. We
empathize with the victims’ suffering and draw
inspiration from their struggle. Our commitment
must be to remember the victims who perished,
respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm
humanity’s common aspiration for mutual
understanding and justice.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Press Release
5
About the IHRA
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
(IHRA) is an intergovernmental body whose
purpose is to place political and social leaders’
support behind the need for Holocaust education,
remembrance and research both nationally and
internationally.
IHRA (formerly the Task Force for International
Cooperation on Holocaust Education,
Remembrance and Research, or ITF) was initiated
in 1998 by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran
Persson. Persson decided to establish an
international organization that would expand
Holocaust education worldwide, and asked then
President Bill Clinton and former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair to join him in this effort. Persson
also developed the idea of an international forum of
governments interested in discussing Holocaust
education, which took place in Stockholm between
27-29 January 2000. The Forum was attended by
the representatives of 46 governments including;
23 Heads of State or Prime Ministers and 14
Deputy Prime Ministers or Ministers. The
Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum
on the Holocaust was the outcome of the Forum’s
deliberations and is the foundation of the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
IHRA currently has 31 member countries, ten
observer countries and seven Permanent
International Partners. Members must be
committed to the Stockholm Declaration and to the
implementation of national policies and programs in
support of Holocaust education, remembrance, and
research. The national government of each
member country appoints and sends a delegation
to IHRA meetings that is composed of both
government representatives and national experts,
providing a unique link between the two levels.
In addition to the Academic, Education,
Memorials and Museums, and Communication
Working Groups, specialized committees have
been established to address antisemitism and
Holocaust denial, the genocide of the Roma, and
comparative approaches to genocide studies. The
IHRA is also in the process of implementing a Multi-
Year Work Plan that focuses on killing sites, access
to archives, educational research, and Holocaust
Memorial Days.
One of IHRA’s key roles is to contribute to the
funding of relevant projects through its grant
strategy. The purpose of the Grant Programme is to
foster international dialogue and the exchange of
expertise, increase government involvement in
program creation, and target projects with strong
multilateral elements in order to create sustainable
structures for Holocaust education, remembrance,
and research.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Killing Sites Report
6
IHRA | International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Lindenstraße 20-25 | 10969 Berlin | Germany
Facebook: @IHRA_news
Twitter: IHRAnews
Youtube: IHRANews





 

 


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