print this page

Working Definition of Antisemitism


The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) welcomes the decision of European Commission to include the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, adopted in May 2016, on the Commission's website. The IHRA is particularly glad to see this positive step, which it hopes to be followed by the adoption of the working definition of antisemitism by the EU itself.

The IHRA's 31 Member Countries adopted the working definition of antisemitism at its plenary session in Bucharest, Romania on 26 May 2016.

In her statement on the occasion of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Vera Jourova, European Union commissioner for justice, consumers & gender equality, outlined that the Commission welcomed any useful initiative aimed at preventing and combating antisemitism and that on the occasion of this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day the Commission would make the IHRA working definition available on their website.

In the EU declaration issued following the OSCE Permanent Council meeting at which the IHRA Chair spoke, the EU countries welcomed the IHRA adoption of the working definition of antisemitism and reminded their support for the proposed OSCE adoption of the definition expressed at the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Hamburg in December 2016.

“Hate speech and antisemitism do not respect national borders,” said Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the IHRA “so we stand united with other international bodies to tackle this scourge at the roots. Particularly the European community, which emerged from the watershed events of the Holocaust, has a responsibility to combat antisemitism. The Holocaust is an unprecedented example of the international community’s failure to act”

Mark Weitzman, Chair of IHRA's Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, also welcomed the European Commission's move, commenting “the posting of this definition is a significant step in recognizing that antisemitism respects no borders in today's world, and so requires the use of tools like this definition which is a first step toward reflecting a common understanding and commitment to fighting this scourge.”

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance unites governments and experts to shape and advance Holocaust education, remembrance and research world-wide, to speak out on Holocaust related issues including antisemitism, and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. The IHRA has 31 Member Countries, eleven Observer Countries, and seven international partner organisations.