Definition of anti-Semitism
Definition of anti-SemitismiStock

Members of The Jewish Agency Board of Governors along with hundreds of Jewish community and organization representatives from all over the world on Tuesday unanimously called on governments worldwide to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism as a necessary tool in the fight against the rising tide of anti-Semitism over the last year.

At the closing plenum, Diaspora leaders adopted the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and praised the decision of the German Parliament to recognize the boycott movement as a form of anti-Semitism.

“We urge all world governments, international and national institutions, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations to adopt and implement the definition as a tool and or as a means of education and enforcement against the hatred of the Jewish people worldwide,’’ said the manifesto signed by Jewish community representatives.

The decision was made following a coordination and briefing meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyaamin Netanyahu on developments in the Jewish world. The meeting included the entire Jewish organizational leadership that’s part of The Jewish Agency Board of Governors, led by Chairman Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) and World Zionist Organization Chairman Avraham Duvdevani. The meeting was held in the framework of the coordinating committee between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, and the Prime Minister was briefed on the latest data on the rising phenomena of anti-Semitism in different countries. The sides agreed during the meeting to strengthen cooperation between the government of Israel and national institutions in the struggle against anti-Semitism.

"The virus of anti-Semitism is spreading at an alarming rate and is terrifying world Jewry," Herzog said. "I call on the State of Israel to make the fight against anti-Semitism and the safety of Jews worldwide a top priority in light of the rise of anti-Semiftism and violent incidents. At the same time, the Jewish people, in Israel and the Diaspora, must overcome internal rifts and unite against this imminent threat which strikes daily. The Jewish Agency receives worrisome reports every day from communities under attack, and it’s just a matter of time before there are more casualties."

Vice and Acting Chairman of the World Zionist Organization Yakov Hagoel, who also serves as the chairman of The Jewish Agency’s Task Force on Anti-Semitism, which is behind the current initiative, said that recognizing these definitions are a necessity today.

"Anti-Semitism is a terrible disease, a spreading virus that threatens the safety of Jews," Hagoel said. "It will stop at nothing and can rear its head under different and strange circumstances. For the first time in history, leaders from the Jewish world are banding together, here, in Jerusalem, our eternal capital, and declaring with one voice and one heart that anti-Semitism is a malignancy that must be fought by every means."

"I call on the governments of the world, national and international institutions, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental institutions to adopt and implement the definition of anti-Semitism as a means for education and struggle against the phenomenon."

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism has currently been adopted by 20 countries. The Jewish Agency Chairman and the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization call on additional governments and international organizations to also adopt the IHRA’s definition.