Anti-Semitism experts warn Labour against changes to IHRA definition
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Anti-Semitism experts warn Labour against changes to IHRA definition

Seven leading voices in the field of tackling anti-Semitism say that if 11 examples not included in the international version it is 'no longer the IHRA definition'

Sir Ben Helfgott   (copyright Holocaust Memorial Day Trust),
Sir Ben Helfgott (copyright Holocaust Memorial Day Trust),

Seven leading anti-Semitism experts have insisted that any modification of the international definition of Jew-hatred is “no longer the IHRA definition”.

The UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) say that the definition formulated by the body must be backed in full, including all its examples of racism.

It comes after Labour backed a modified version of IHRA last month, which omitted four key examples and caused anger within the Jewish community.

The experts, including academics, a Holocaust survivor and Shoah educators, warned that “any ‘modified’ version of the IHRA definition that does not include all of its 11 examples is no longer the IHRA definition. Adding or removing language undermines the months of international diplomacy and academic rigour that enabled this definition to exist.”

“If one organisation or institution can amend the wording to suit its own needs, then logically anyone else could do the same. We would once again revert to a world where antisemitism goes unaddressed simply because different entities cannot agree on what it is.”

Signatories include academics Dr Gilly Carr and Dr Paula Cowan, survivor Sir Ben Helfgott , Karen Pollock and Alex Maws of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Olivia Marks-Woldman, of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and Michael Newman from the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR).

Last weekend, Jewish News revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s position on three of the four examples of contemporary anti-Semitism, yet to be included in the party’s code, has softened and he now looks ready to include them.

Any such movement would still fall short of community leaders’ insistence that there can be no negotiation on the adoption of all 11 examples accompanying the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.

As a member of the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: “As antisemitism becomes ever more prevalent across Europe and the rest of the world, this definition in its entirety acts as a clear reference as to what constitutes antisemitism and what does not. For those who have been and are possibly still confused regarding the origin or merit of this internationally agreed definition, hopefully this clears things up.”

 

 

 

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