Definition of anti-Semitism and anti-Semite
Definition of anti-Semitism and anti-Semite iStock

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Wednesday signed an Executive Order officially recognizing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The Executive Order directs all County departments and officials in the County to be guided by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, in complying with, implementing and enforcing laws or regulations that prohibit acts of anti-Semitic discrimination or harassment.

“In order to combat antisemitism effectively, it is important to be clear about what it is and how it may manifest itself. With anti-Semitism on the rise, Nassau County stands with our Jewish brothers and sisters and will continue fighting to ensure hatred never finds a home in our communities,” said Curran.

Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, welcomed the move.

"We applaud the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as a tool to be used for monitoring and raising awareness about anti-Semitic acts in Nassau County, New York, by order of County Executive Laura Curran,” they said in a statement.

“Nassau County joins a rapidly growing list of counties, countries, and institutions around the world that have taken this important step. This global coalition, which continues to expand daily, reflects the broad support that exists for the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism as an educational tool, as well as the widespread view that it is necessary to define anti-Semitism in order to combat it successfully.”

“We thank County Executive Curran for her leadership on this critical issue, and we strongly encourage others to follow in adopting the definition as a key instrument in addressing the urgent threat of anti-Semitism,” the Jewish leaders said.

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 has been adopted by a host of countries, including Albania, Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Cyprus and Argentina.

Last week, Texas became the first US state to officially adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.