Portugal accepted as full member of IHRA

Portugal becomes 34th member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Anti-Semitism (archive)
Anti-Semitism (archive)
Photo by TPS

Portugal was accepted on Wednesday as a full member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The country had served as an observer in the organization over the past decade and, after a probationary period, the IHRA plenum which convened in Luxembourg voted to accept it as a full member.

Portugal will be the 34th member in the organization. The expansion of the IHRA and the accession of other countries to the organization is a significant step in the ongoing fight against anti-Semitism.

The move comes a day after the French parliament decided to adopt the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. The decision was made following a political effort by the Israeli embassy in Paris that took place over many months.

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.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism has been adopted by a number of countries in recent years, including Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Canada.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has placed the issue of the fight against anti-Semitism at the top of its list of priorities and operates in the IHRA through the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance.

The ministry holds international conferences such as the International Anti-Semitism Forum, and conducts dialogues and consultations with major European countries, as well as the EU, to promote anti-Semitism collaborations.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed Portugal's acceptance into the IHRA and said, "The preservation of the memory of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism are interconnected - the past must be recognized and remembered to ensure the future."

"Anti-Semitism is a threat not only to the Jewish people but to every society and country in which it exists. The joint effort to exterminate it is a moral imperative and a necessity," Katz concluded.