Democratic Congressman endorses IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

Rep. Ted Deutch warns: We can only effectively fight anti-Semitism if we are willing to call it out wherever it appears.

Elad Benari ,

Ted Deutch
Ted Deutch
Reuters

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a founding co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, on Monday endorsed the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of anti-Semitism in order to fight anti-Semitism on "both the political left and political right", Haaretz reports.

Deutch, who also chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, made the comments in an appearance at the Combat Anti-Semitism’s movement annual summit.

He warned that anti-Semitism left unchecked will only keep spreading, saying that "we can only effectively fight anti-Semitism if we are willing to call it out wherever it appears."

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 Biden Administration recently confirmed that President Joe Biden “embraces and champions” the IHRA Working Definition of anti-Semitism.

Last week, Kentucky became the first US state to officially adopt the IHRA definition after the measure was included in a state resolution to condemning anti-Semitism.

In his speech on Monday, Deutch cited examples of anti-Semitism that fall under the remit of the IHRA definition, such as "when leaders accuse Jews of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of America" and "using longstanding stereotypes to make demonizing allegations about Jews and the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy."

He noted that the definition applies "whether you're a Democrat or Republican, a political operative or a Member of Congress."

The IHRA definition 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.



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