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European Parliament calls on countries to adopt working definition of antisemitism


On 1 June 2017 the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution calling on member states and their institutions to adopt and apply the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.

24 of the IHRA's 31 Member Countries are members of the European Union. Austria, Romania and the United Kingdom have already formally adopted the working definition.

The European Parliament resolution passed on Thursday calls on member states to protect their Jewish citizens and Jewish institutions from hate crime and hate speech, to support law enforcement efforts to identify and prosecute antisemitic attacks, to appoint national coordinators on combating antisemitism, systematically and publicly condemn antisemitic statements, to promote education about the Holocaust in schools, and to review schoolbooks regarding content related to Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life.

Mark Weitzman who as Chair of the IHRA's Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial initiated and led the movement for the adoption of the definition by the IHRA, and Dr. Robert Williams, the current Co-Chairs of the Committee, welcomed the European Parliament's resolution, saying "This action by the European Parliament represents a major step forward in combating antisemitism. If these steps are adopted by the member states it could create a unified action plan that might have a major impact in the fight against antisemitism in Europe. And by urging "Member States and the Union institutions and agencies to adopt and apply" the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism (which was an initiative of the Committee) the European Parliament shows how important the IHRA Working Definition has become as an effective tool for political and civil society leaders to understand and begin to combat more effectively this pernicious hatred. We are committed to continuing the IHRA's leadership in these efforts."

Read the text of the resolution