B'nai Brith Canada on Wednesday welcomed the expansion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) membership with the inclusion of New Zealand and called on all Canadian provinces to follow suit.
New Zealand’s addition to the IHRA raises the number of full and observer member countries to 45.
“The growth of IHRA membership with New Zealand's inclusion strengthens the fight against antisemitism and in support of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “Australia’s adoption of the IHRA definition, the Philippines embrace of the definition, and Canada’s own commitment last October to better implement the definition across the whole of government, also show the IHRA is moving from strength to strength."
B’nai Brith in a statement called on all the provinces of Canada to adhere to the IHRA definition, as New Zealand and many US states have done.
The IHRA working definition offers a comprehensive description of antisemitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, sometimes controversially, the way antisemitism relates to the ways criticism of Israel is expressed.
The IHRA definition of antisemitism, in addition to being adopted by dozens of US states, has also been adopted by a host of countries, including Albania, Australia, Canada, Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Cyprus and Argentina.
B’nai Brith Canada noted in its statement that that Ontario has adopted the IHRA definition by Order in Council and Quebec has affirmed its support via a statement in the National Assembly, and said it believes its timely for other Canadian provinces to do the same.
“We're encouraged to see more countries as well as American states rapidly adopting and implementing IHRA and they serve as an example to us here in Canada,” stated Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith’s Chief Executive Officer. “Nebraska recently became the 27th American state to join IHRA in the fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion. We invite all our Canadian provinces to do the same."
B’nai Brith Canada recently specifically urged British Columbia to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, given that anti-Jewish incidents are increasing at an alarming rate in the Canadian province.
The advocacy group noted that BC Premier John Horgan has voiced his support for the Canadian government’s adoption of IHRA, but the definition still has not been adopted in the province. Therefore, B’nai Brith urged that the province “take the logical step of formalizing its support for the definition.”