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Conference of Presidents Member Organizations Adopt IHRA Definition
On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and 51 member organizations announce they adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. The organizations join 30 countries, including the United States, Arab and Muslim countries, and the European Union, as well as the United Nations Secretary-General, and hundreds of other governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations, sports leagues, universities, and religious groups around the world that adopted the definition. This global coalition, which continues to expand daily, reflects the broad support that exists for the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of antisemitism as an educational tool, as well as the widespread view that it is critically important to define antisemitism in order to combat it successfully.
The adoption follows the approval – without objection – of a Conference of Presidents resolution calling for member organizations to adopt the IHRA definition (including examples) in November. The definition received bipartisan support in Congress, and is consistent with and builds upon definitions endorsed by the last three US Presidential administrations.
“At a time of increased antisemitism at home and abroad, as well as great divisiveness in America, American Jewry is sending a clear message that we are united in our determination to combat antisemitism in all of its manifestations,” said Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The IHRA definition, which is anchored in the principles of human and civil rights, as well as antidiscrimination principles and policy, serves as an educational tool to assist local, state, and national authorities that are responsible for identifying, combating, and monitoring antisemitism and hate speech. It also helps to educate the public about the multidimensional and evolving nature of antisemitism today.”
“In order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism actually is. The adopted working definition helps provide guidance in addressing this challenge,” the leaders continued. “The Conference of Presidents intends to build upon this unprecedented communal agreement to encourage others to adopt the definition, as a key tool to combat antisemitism. The unity reflects our commitment to take on the dangers posed by Jew hatred in a unified and coherent effort.”
The Conference of Presidents member organizations that adopted the IHRA definition are:
Alpha Epsilon Pi
American Friends of Likud
America-Israel Friendship League
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
American Sephardi Federation
American Zionist Movement
B’nai B’rith International
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Emunah of America
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America
Israel Bonds/Development Corporation for Israel
JCC Association of North America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Institute for National Security of America
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish National Fund
Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago
Jewish Women International
Mercaz USA, Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement
NCSEJ: National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Young Israel
ORT America, Inc.
Rabbinical Council of America
Religious Zionists of America
UJA-Federation of New York
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism
World ORT USA
World Zionist Executive USA
Zionist Organization of America
The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism follows:
IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
• Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
• Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
• Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
• Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust
• Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
• Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
• Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
• Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
• Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
• Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
• Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.
The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern
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