The UK is the first to institute the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s anti-Semitism definition.
The United Kingdom will be the first country to accept the anti-Semitic definition as explained by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The acceptance is being made to manage the rising hatred increasingly being expressed towards Jewish people. This move makes it harder for culprits abusing and harassing Jews to escape punishment. This definition can be used by public bodies, councils and universities. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, has expressed disgust that anti-Semitism can be found inside UK politics.
Opposition parties have welcomed the move. The Labour Party, which has faced a number of accusations of failing to manage anti-Semitism within its own ranks, said that it is receptive of new definitions to tackle it. The Labour party spokesperson, Jeremy Corbyn concurred and said that the party believes that any behavior or language which displays hatred towards the Jews can be counted as anti-Semitism. This can be as unacceptable or repugnant as any other kind of racism. The British Government will soon publish the response to the calls of the Home Affairs Select Committee for political leaders to do more so that the issue can be managed.
IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism is:
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.
The guidance in its detailed form says it will be labeled anti-Semitic to “accuse Jews of being more loyal to Israel or their religion than to their own nations.” Anti-Semitism accusations are also valid if one says that Israel's existence is racist.
There were a number of concerns regarding criticism towards Israel crossing into blatant anti-Semitism. The issue is so deep that Jeremy Corbyn has commissioned a report into this issue inside the Labour Party. These fears were not unfounded as Jackie Walker, the vice-chairperson of Momentum, a group supporting Corbyn, had her post taken away when she questioned the necessity of security positioned at Jewish schools. She also spoke in a disparaging tone concerning Holocaust Memorial Day.
PM Theresa May announced today UK will formally adopt @IHRA_news definition of anti-Semitism. Important step in combating anti-semitism 1/2
— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) December 12, 2016
Prime Minister May criticized the Labour Party on their failure to stamp out anti-Semitism within its ranks. She decried that such twisted views are being seen in British politics.
- International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
- International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance -working definition of antisemitism
- The Guardian – “UK adopts antisemitism definition to combat hate crime against Jews”
- The Guardian – “Jeremy Corbyn launches antisemitism report amid controversy”
- The Guardian – “Jackie Walker stripped of Momentum post in antisemitism row”