Cyprus iStock

The cabinet in Cyprus on Wednesday approved a proposal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

The proposal was presented by the foreign and education ministers, making Cyprus the 17th country to adopt the definition and implementing education and other policies that promote respect for diversity and combat all forms of racism, reported the English-language daily Cyprus Mail.

“It reaffirms the commitment of the Republic of Cyprus to promote and foster respect and diversity and to combat all forms of discrimination, racism and xenophobia, including anti-Semitism,” a foreign ministry statement said.

The decision was welcomed as an important step by the Israeli embassy in Nicosia.

The embassy said the decision “is especially significant in view of the continued spread of anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world. We must remember the past to ensure the future.”

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, Canada and France, which adopted the definition earlier this month.

Arthur Stark, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, welcomed Cyprus’ move in a statement on Wednesday.

“We welcome the announcement that the Republic of Cyprus has become the 17th country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. This is an important moral declaration vital to the fight against Jew-hatred, and we look forward to more countries following the example set by Cyprus and others in the coming days. The scourge of anti-Semitism requires determined, bold, and immediate action from all,” they said.

Join our official WhatsApp group