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EU Adopts Anti-Semitism Definition

(June 1, 2017)

On June 1, 2017, the Parliament of the European Union approved a resolution adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.  The Parliament followed in the steps of the United Kingdom, which adopted the IHRA definition in December 2016.  The text of the resolution calls on European Union member states to:

  • adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism themselves 
  • take steps to protect their Jewish communities from hate crimes and hate speech
  • support law enforcements efforts to investigate and follow-through on anti-Semitic attacks
  • promote Holocaust education in schools
  • consider appointing national coordinators to combat anti-Semitism
  • condemn publicly anti-Semitic acts and statements

The adoption of the resolution was praised by international Jewish groups, including the European Jewish Congress.  

The IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, which was adopted by all 31 EU member countries, 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.

Source: Zieve, Tamara.  EU Parliament votes in favor of Anti-Semitism definition, Jerusalem Post (June 1, 2017);