Tony Blinken
Tony BlinkenReuters

The Biden Administration "enthusiastically embraces the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken wrote in a letter to American Zionist Movement President Richard Heideman.

In the letter, which was obtained by Jewish Insider, Blinken writes that the administration is "eager to work with allies and partners to counter Holocaust distortion and combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance abroad while we strengthen out efforts at home, including redoubling our efforts to counter violent extremism."

"The United States and Israel are bound by historic and cultural ties as well as our shared commitment to democracy, free trade, national security, and cultural exchange. The United States will continue to be a strong partner in fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel, and we will work equally tirelessly to counter attempts to isolate Israel in the international community as we also work to advance a two-state solution where a Jewish and democratic Israel can live side by side in peace, prosperity, security, and freedom with a viable Palestinian state," he writes.

Last month, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald stated: “We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize anti-Semitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action. That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

“As prior US Administrations of both political stripes have done, the Biden Administration embraces and champions the working definition. We applaud the growing number of countries and international bodies that apply it. We urge all that haven’t done so to do likewise,” she added.

The IHRA working definition offers a comprehensive description of anti-Semitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, sometimes controversially, the way anti-Semitism relates to the ways criticism of Israel is expressed.

It has been adopted by a host of countries, including Albania, Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Cyprus and Argentina.

The government of Canada formally adopted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in 2019 as part of its anti-racism strategy.

The Canadian province of Ontario adopted the IHRA definition this past October, becoming the first Canadian province to do so.