JUSTICE - No. 68

21 Summer 2022 there must be clarity about what antisemitism is.”16 The Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial first developed its definition in 2003-2004,17 and published it as a Working Definition in January 2005.18 It was adopted as a guide by the U.S. State Department in 2007,19 and unofficially adopted in 2010.20 In 2016, after the Working Definition was formally adopted by a plenary meeting of the then-31 countries in the IHRA,21 the U.S. State Department officially adopted it as well.22 Since that time, 866 separate governments, NGOs and other key institutions have also adopted it, demonstrating a real worldwide consensus. The definition has also been endorsed by a growing number of world leaders, including the UN Secretary-General23 and U.S. Presidents of both parties.24 The definition is used by several departments within the U.S. federal government, including the Departments of Education and Justice.25 While there can be no one exclusive or exhaustive definition of antisemitism, the IHRA definition provides an arguably objective baseline standard for the limits of what is acceptable, and it has proven to be an essential tool in identifying contemporary manifestations of antiJewish hate.26 The definition (along with its accompanying illustrations) reads as follows: 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: n Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion. n 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. n 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 nonJews. n 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). n Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. n 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. n Denying the Jewish people their right to selfdetermination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. 16. “Antisemitism,” INT’L HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE, available at https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/antisemitism 17. Manfred Gerstenfeld, “To fight antisemitism, you have to define it,” ARUTZ SHEVA, available at http://www. israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22096 18. Id. 19. Id. 20. “Defining Antisemitism,” U.S. DEP’T OF STATE, available at https://www.state.gov/defining-antisemitism/ 21. “31 Countries Adopt New Definition of Antisemitism that Includes Anti-Zionism,” THE TOWER (June 3, 2016, 3:34 PM), available at http://www.thetower.org/3462-31countries-adopt-new-definition-of-antisemitism-thatincludes-anti-zionism/ 22. Supra note 20. 23. https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sgsm19252.doc.htm 24. https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/1612302208biden-administration-embraces-and-champions-ihradefinition-of-anti-semitism 25. https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidentialactions/executive-order-combating-anti-semitism/ 26. See Ira Forman, “Combatting antisemitism: Why the world needs to adopt the IHRA definition,” JERUSALEM POST (Oct. 10, 2020), available at https://www.jpost.com/opinion/ combatting-antisemitism-why-the-world-needs-to-adoptthe-ihra-definition-645275

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