The Knesset plenum. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Knesset

MK Zvi Hauser was surprised to discover the Knesset never adopted the IHRA’s widely accepted definition.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Israel’s Knesset is moving to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance’s widely accepted definition of antisemitism, the Jerusalem Post reports.

According to the Post, lawmakers unanimously agreed to address the matter on Thursday following a proposal by New Hope MK Zvi Hauser.

Although the Israeli government endorsed the definition in 2017, the Knesset never did, Hauser was surprised to discover.

That’s despite a Knesset committee having called on social media platforms to use IHRA as guideline to curb antisemitic hate speech and conspiracy theories in February 2021.

The working definition, formulated by the Berlin-based IHRA, has been adopted by more than 30 countries — most recently Ukraine — the European Union parliament, as well around 1,000 universities and organizations around the world.

According to IHRA’s definition, ““Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The definition includes 11 examples to guide organizations. Five of the examples are directly related to Israel, such as:

• “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

• “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

• “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The definition also stresses that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

In January, 10 U.S. states moved to adopt IHRA’s definition. Activists have called on news servicessocial media platforms and government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to adopt IHRA to better address antisemitism.