JUSTICE - No. 71

41 Spring 2024 The European Union’s Strategy The same requirements are also offered in the EU Strategy on combating antisemitism, adopted in October 2021, which is now the primary European vehicle for fighting antisemitism and reinforcing Jewish communal existence. The Strategy outlines measures built on three pillars: preventing and combating all forms of antisemitism; protecting and fostering Jewish life; and education, research, and Holocaust remembrance. A vital element of the Strategy is that the European Commission (EC) formalized the ad hoc Working Group on combating antisemitism, which will publish implementation reports in 2024 and 2029. In doing so, it will draw on evidence submitted by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).5 The creation of this external review is a tool that is frequently omitted in the fight against antisemitism, the absence of which I have noted in previous articles.6 Without such external reviews, governments can all too easily avoid their responsibilities because they are not beholden to any organization to implement any agreements. The EC goes further and promises that “it will engage in a regular dialogue with the European Parliament and with Member States’ national parliaments to encourage renewed action on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.”7 Admittedly, fighting antisemitism is a complex challenge; the Strategy explains that the first step must be properly defining antisemitism itself. It notes that the IHRA Working Definition is the foundational definition, and it has been adopted by 43 states and the major intergovernmental agencies.8 Other so-called definitions have been suggested, but their authors have little practical experience in combating antisemitism. Their “definitions” could be more accurately described as “reactions” to the IHRA definition, while the IHRA definition was based on the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) Working Definition with only slight organizational changes to the language. While it had been drafted by academics, civil society and European agency employees engaged in monitoring antisemitism were crucial in formulating the final language. Their involvement came at the request of the EC after EU Member States stated that they needed a definition that addressed contemporary circumstances.9 To assist governments and other users, the EC and IHRA published a manual to help them understand how the Working Definition might be used, citing good practices by states, law enforcement agencies, and others.10 The second requirement for any strategy to combat antisemitism is constructing a consistent set of criteria for measuring incidents that are based on criminal justice categories. The foremost set of criteria for measuring antisemitic incidents was developed by the UK Community Security Trust (CST), and was based on British crime categories to approximate those used by law enforcement agencies. In recent years, the CST has worked with other community monitoring groups, notably the German Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS), the Antisemitism Reporting Office of the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG), and the Jewish Association Czulent of Poland. The EC now provides funding to implement accurate recording systems.11 5. European Commission, “EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030)” (Oct. 5, 2021), p. 6, available at https://eur-lex.europa. eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52021DC0615 6. Michael Whine, “Improving Legal and Other Protections for Europe’s Jews,” JUSTICE No. 59 (Spring-Summer 2017), pp. 7-12, available at https://www.ijl.org/justicem/ no59/6/; see also Michael Whine, “Applying the Working Definition of Antisemitism,” JUSTICE No. 61 (Fall 2018), pp. 9-16, available at https://www.ijl.org/justicem/ no61/#8 7. Supra note 5, at 3. 8. See information on endorsement and adoption of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, available at https:// www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/workingdefinitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism/ adoption-endorsement 9. Andrew Baker, Deidre Berger, and Michael Whine, “The Origins of the Working Definition,” in IN DEFENCE OF THE IHRA WORKING DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM” (Fathom, 2021), available at https://fathomjournal.org/ wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Fathom-eBook-In-Defenceof-the-IHRA-Working-Definition-of-Antisemitism.pdf 10. European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, Benjamin Steinitz, Kim Stoller, Daniel Poensgen, and Michael Whine, “Handbook for the practical use of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism,” PUBLICATIONS OFFICE (2021), available at https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2838/72276 11. European Network on Monitoring Antisemitism, European Commission, Jan. 1, 2023, available at https:// www.developmentaid.org/organizations/awards/ view/429531/european-network-on-monitoringantisemitism-enma

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