Hertsmere is latest council to adopt international anti-Semitism definition

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Hertsmere is latest council to adopt international anti-Semitism definition

Councillors backed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, following the government's adoption last year

Desecrated Jewish graves
Desecrated Jewish graves

Hertsmere Council has followed Barnet in recognising a new and more expansive definition of anti-Semitism that includes claims that Israel is a racist endeavour.

In a vote this week, councillors backed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, which was adopted by Prime Minister Theresa May on behalf of the UK late last year.

While the majority of Hertsmere councillors are Conservative, left-leaning Labour members said they were pleased to endorse the motion, because “this definition recognises that rhetoric about Israel is often expressed in anti-Semitic terms”.

At a meeting on Tuesday night, Labour group leader Cllr. Richard Butler said: “This definition sets out clear dividing lines between fair criticism of Israeli policies on one hand and anti-Semitism on the other.”

He added: “We are deeply concerned and ashamed at recent incidents of anti-Semitism within our own Party… We support the rule change proposals from the Jewish Labour Movement to help deal with this problem in our Party.”

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