British Jewish representatives have welcomed the full membership of the European Union to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, during discussions in the Italian city of Ferrara on Thursday.
The IHRA, whose new working definition of antisemitism has been the focus of much debate around the world, said “the close working relationship between the IHRA and the EU is now formalised”.
It came after Katharina von Schnurbein, the EU Commission’s Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism, accepted the position of Permanent International Partner.
On the same day, Bulgaria was accepted as the 32nd full IHRA member state, while Portugal became an affiliate, during a conference attended by UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues Lord Pickles, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman.
“The Board of Deputies welcomes the European Union’s decision to join the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance,” said Board senior vice-president Sheila Gewolb. “It will give added weight to this important body which originated the internationally-recognised definition of antisemitism.”
She added: “While the UK may be leaving the EU, we are glad that both remain inside the IHRA to work together to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and tackle antisemitism. Some things truly should supersede national or party-political lines.”
Addressing the conference, Pickles said one of the key issues facing delegates was public indifference, in light of this week’s startling CNN/ComRes report, which showed a shocking lack of knowledge about the Holocaust across Europe.
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