Paris City Council adopts IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

Paris becomes first capital city outside Israel to adopt official IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA ,

Paris (illustrative)
Paris (illustrative)

The City Council of Paris endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism on Friday, becoming the first capital city in the world outside Israel to do so officially, according to a statement by the Israeli Embassy in France.

Only a few of the 163 delegates objected in the vote by a show of hands to the resolution.

Hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents occur annually in Paris.

The definition has been a source of ongoing debate in the United States and beyond.

Its text lists as examples of anti-Semitism classic tropes alongside some forms of vitriol against Israel, including comparing its policies to Nazi Germany and “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.”

The definition also states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

Critics, including many pro-Palestinian activists, cite freedom of speech concerns.

In 2019, the French parliament’s lower house passed a resolution endorsing the IHRA definition following acrimonious debates.

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Romania, Canada and Australia are among the dozens of governments that have adopted the IHRA definition.