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Roundtable on IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism


On 16 March a roundtable on the recently adopted IHRA working definition of antisemitism took place in the synagogue of Luxembourg, in the presence of about 80 participants. In attendance were several ambassadors and representatives from the embassies of Belgium, Germany, Poland and the UK, as well as the honorary consul of Israel.

Several ministries also sent representatives, such as the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Education and representatives attended from the organizations MemoShoah, The National Committee for the Memory of World War II, and the Resistance Museum as well as many members of the Jewish community.

After an introduction by Alain Meyer who led the debate, Dr. Paul Dostert - who acted as the Head of the Luxembourg Delegation to the IHRA for many years - outlined the development of the IHRA since its inception in 1998, focusing on some of the challenges facing the organzation, such as access to archives. H.E Gregor Schusterschitz, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, who was Head of the Austrian Delegation to the IHRA for five years - introduced the working definition of antisemitism adopted by the IHRA at its Plenary Session in Bucharest in May 2016. The working definition was adopted by IHRA's 31 Member Countries.

Read the working definition of antisemitism

H.E Mr. Urs Hammer, Ambassador of Switzerland, whose country has recently taken on the rotating presidency of the IHRA, outlined the priorities of the Swiss IHRA Chairmanship, which included youth, education and social media. Mr Michel Karp then provided an overview of the legal situation in Luxembourg as relates to racist and antisemitic hate speech, and illustrated this by discussing a recent case. This address was followed by Mr François Moyse who summarized the importance of IHRA's work and the potential use of the working definition in combatting antisemitism.