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UN Report on Combatting Anti-Semitism

(September 20, 2019)

On September 20, 2019, the United Nations published an unprecedented report, “Combatting Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,” by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed. The report condemned the use of anti-Semitic tropes and identifies violence, discrimination and expressions of hostility motivated by Jew-hatred as a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief. It also expresses “serious concern that the frequency of anti-Semitic incidents appears to be increasing in magnitude and that the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes and the risk of violence against Jewish individuals and sites appears to be significant, including in countries with little or no Jewish population.”

The report notes “that the objectives, activities and effects of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement are fundamentally anti-Semitic.” It also recommends that all UN member states adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism, which it says “can offer valuable guidance for identifying anti-Semitism in its various forms, and therefore encourages States to adopt it for use in education, awareness-raising, and for monitoring and responding to manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

Only 18 countries have adopted the definition.

Sources: United Nations;
“UN releases ‘unprecedented’ report linking anti-Semitism to BDS movement,” JNS, (September 24, 2019).