#RejectIHRA

The IHRA definition of antisemitism conflates criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism.

This poses a serious threat to the political freedom of campaigning against the Israeli government’s human rights abuses.

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The IHRA definition of antisemitism conflates criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism.

Identifying and combatting antisemitism is really important. FOA rejects all forms of discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish).

Antisemitism is a significant and ongoing problem, and FOA is committed to recognising and calling out all forms of racism.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is not fit for purpose because it conflates criticism of the policies and practices of the Israeli state with antisemitism.

This infringes on the political rights of peaceful campaigners who highlight the illegal occupation of Palestine and the apartheid policies and practices of the Israeli state.

The IHRA definition includes a 39-word working definition of antisemitism as well as accompanying examples. It is the accompanying examples that conflate criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism.

For example, one of the accompanying examples of antisemitism is‘claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’.

But many organisations including Human Rights Watch (HRW), B’Tselem and Amnesty International consider Israel is practising apartheid.

The racist nature of Israel was highlighted in 2019 by previous Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu when he stated that Israel is not a state of all its citizens… Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it’.

The present Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is also on record claiming ‘I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that’.

Since 1948, Israel’s racist ideology has characterised its policies and practices.

Today there are over 65 discriminatory laws against those who are not Jewish.

To address this and many other human rights violations by Israel, individuals must have the right to highlight them without being branded antisemitic.

Showing discrimination and prejudice by the state of Israel is not the same as discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (that is antisemitism).

The apartheid state of Israel must not be exempt from being called to respect the human rights of the Palestinians.

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FAQ

What is the IHRA definition of antisemitism?

You can read the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of Antisemitism here:

https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism

Why is the IHRA definition of antisemitism problematic?

The IHRA definition of antisemitism conflates criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism. This poses a serious threat to the political freedom of individuals campaigning against human rights abuses by the state of Israel.

Individuals must have the right to highlight the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the apartheid policies and practices of the Israeli state without being branded antisemitic.

What can I do?

Use the action tool above to write to your MP, councillor and University Vice-Chancellor asking them to reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism.