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AIJAC proud to join Jewish organisations globally urging IHRA Antisemitism definition be part of UN Action Plan

May 24, 2023 | AIJAC

IHRA Ministerial Declaration Brussels 24 0

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has joined with 178 other significant Jewish international and regional organisations in calling on the United Nations to ensure that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism be “referenced positively” in its upcoming “UN Action Plan on monitoring antisemitism and enhancing a system-wide response.” The meeting to establish the plan is being convened on June 20-21 in Cordoba, Spain.

In a letter sent to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Under-Secretary General Miguel Moratinos, AIJAC joined with all the signatories in welcoming the UN’s “commitment to making the United Nations a more effective force for countering and combating Jew-hatred around the world.” The signatories also expressed wholeheartedly their collective view that IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism “is an indispensable tool to understand and fight antisemitism, and one that can be used entirely consistently with fundamental human rights standards.”

The legally non-binding IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism has been endorsed by more than a thousand institutions globally, including the European Union, the Council of Europe and more than 39 countries and is the product of scholars and academics in the fields of Holocaust and genocide studies, as well researchers and analysts monitoring modern manifestations of antisemitism.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of AIJAC said that “It is imperative that organisations with the responsibility to protect society from the evils of antisemitism are equipped with the best, most effective tools to identify it. The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is just such a tool.

“While this latest appeal is to the United Nations, the identical principle should apply also to universities and other Australian institutions that may have to deal with manifestations of antisemitic behaviour,” Dr Rubenstein added.

Jeremy Jones, AIJAC Director of International and Community Affairs noted, “the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is the distillation of thinking of the major institutions and individuals at the front line of building community resilience to antisemitism. It has the strong support of Jewish communities and will be adopted by any institution that is serious about fighting contemporary antisemitism.”

The 180 organisational signatories of the letter come from around the globe, and are led by the seven initiating organisations – the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, European Jewish Congress, Jewish Federations of North America and the World Jewish Congress.  In addition to the organisational signatories, 123 academics and practitioners from across the world have also endorsed the letter.

The full letter can be read here.

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