New South Wales has become the first Australian state to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of Anti-Semitism.
The announcement was made by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who said in a speech that “to fight something, you need to be able to identify it. To be able to describe it, to name it.”
“A definition is an essential and important tool. It’s a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight,” Perrottet said.
“We hear the Jewish community, and today we stand with them in the fight against anti-Semitism,” he added.
“This definition will make a difference. It will help people call out anti-Semitism wherever it hides.”
Perrottet committed his government to combating anti-Semitism found on social media, in schools and on “the streets of New South Wales.”
The IHRA definition is “a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight,” he explained.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) CEO Darren Bark praised the state’s adoption of the definition.
“Combatting anti-Semitism is not just the responsibility of the Jewish community, it takes leadership from every public figure, which is why we are so grateful to the premier and the NSW government for leading the way amongst state governments,” Bark told the Australian Jewish News. “Every tool that is available to stamp out the scourge of hate speech and racism should be used before speech manifests into something more dangerous.”
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) also commended the NSW government’s decision.
“The NSW’s government adoption of the IHRA definition is significant for Jewish students across NSW,” AUJS said. “Led by the [NSW Jewish Board of Deputies], AUJS has been at the forefront of making this a reality and advancing this important cause in NSW.”