Thursday, April 26th | 11 Iyyar 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

October 21, 2015 2:30 pm

Senior State Department Official Urges EU to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Email a copy of "Senior State Department Official Urges EU to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism" to a friend
Antisemitic graffiti in Venezuela. Eight US lawmakers launched a new task force to combat global antisemitism. Photo: wiki commons.

Antisemitic graffiti in Venezuela. Eight US lawmakers launched a new task force to combat global antisemitism. Photo: wiki commons.

The U.S. is urging the European Union to adopt a working definition of antisemitism, similar to the one used by the State Department, a senior State official said in a conference call with Jerusalem U on Monday.

Defining antisemitism is “an important tool” for combating the rising antisemitic trend in Europe, where — the official, who was not speaking on the record, warned — several smaller Jewish communities, which have existed for 500 to 2,400 years, are on the verge of extinction.

The State Department definition of antisemitism includes certain attitudes toward Israel. In what are commonly referred to as the “3 Ds,” a phrase coined by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, the definition says that demonization, delegitmization and holding Israel to a double standard all constitute antisemitism.

The senior official noted that Europe needed to make a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and when criticism may function as antisemitism.

The E.U.’s Agency for Fundamental Rights put a working definition of antisemitism on its website in 2005, but deleted it a few years ago, with certain E.U. members claiming it was never official anyway; the State Department still includes that working definition on its website.

Similarly, Israel’s Foreign Ministry antisemitism czar, Ambassador Gideon Behar, told The Algemeiner on Monday that Israel also wanted to see the E.U. adopt a working definition.

Additionally, the State official lauded U.S. officials, clergy and community leaders for continuing to ensure that the price of antisemitism in public remains high. He noted that while the U.S. does not have laws prohibiting hate speech on the books, this system of shaming has ensured society-based punishment for antisemites. Part of this, he explained, comes from the awareness of what antisemitism is, which is bolstered by the U.S.’s working definition.

Interestingly, although the State definition is applicable in the U.S., the official noted his agency could do little to guarantee that states and public agencies also adopt the definition. For example, the University of California has struggled this year to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism, because some activists and interested parties want the U.C.s to take the State Department line in distinguishing certain criticisms of Israel as antisemitism, whereas others argue that including Israel in any definition of antisemitism is tantamount to stifling political debate.

Ruthie Blum contributed to this report. 

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Wm. J. Levy

    Anti-Semitism exists because its easy to hate and kill Jews.

    Once it becomes dangerous for these haters it will stop just like it stopped with the Blacks and the Irish.

    Jews have to stop being so weak because they are the worst enemies of the Jews.

    Imagine HIAS wanting to bring 200,000 Syrians here because they think it has anything to do with Tikun OlaM.

    First fix your own house before you start caring for other people.

    The Syrians want to kill Jews and HIAS welcomes them to kill Jews.

  • William

    PROsemitism ——- If there is an “antisemitism” there must be : “PROsemitism” PROsemitism must be a supporter of “semitism”, which ODDLY means Judaism even though most Jews are NOT semites and SUNNIsemites and SHIITTEsemites and CHRISTIANsemites are ignored. So, what are you supporting if you are a PROsemite? Well first of all we must define Judaism:
    Judaism is neither a race or a religion, it is Xenophobic Tribalism.
    A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples.
    1. The organization, culture, or beliefs of a tribe.
    2. A strong feeling of identity with and loyalty to one’s tribe or group.
    So right off the get-go PROsemites hate all NON-Jews, NON-members of YOUR group(TRIBE).
    THAT means, that if I am not one of the TRIBE, you do not like me.
    Since Jews brand all NON-Jews “gentile” and automatically denigrate them, to be PROsemitic one must by definition be ANTI-GENTILE.
    They hate all NON-Jews so fundamentally, that they have to SPECIFICALLY NAME what they grudgingly term “RIGHTEOUS GENTILES”. Those are NON-Jewish HUMANS that went so far out of their way to help/save Jews that the Jews were FORCED to ACKNOWLEDGE the humanity of that specific ‘gentile”. You see, PROsemites do not acknowledge the EQUALITY of spirituality and humanity of “gentiles”
    According to the SPLC & ADL an organization is a “HATE GROUP” if it has
    “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people”.
    Jews have HATED CHRIST and his followers for 2,000 years. Go ask your Jewish friends to “acknowledge” Jesus Christ.
    Jesus Christ was an anti-semite according to the Temple Priests who HEREM(excommunicated) Him just prior to crucifixion.
    JUDAS ISCARIOT was a Jew —- in good standing with the Temple Priests.

    Israeli Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs, Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, from the settler party Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) gave an interview [Heb] to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv 12/30/2013 on his party’s stance against gay marriage.
    Here’s a snippet from the interview. Remember, this man is a high ranking government official in the only “democracy” in the Middle East.
    Q: What will you do if the Knesset votes on a bill legalizing gay marriage?
    A: No way. Also, a Jew cannot marry a gentile.
    Q: Is that the same thing?
    A: We don’t recognize either of them. And anyway, a Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he’s gay.

  • The Freeman

    Palastinians are semites, all Arabs are semites, not just jews. Are israelis anti-semites for shouting “death to Arabs” in the streets? Or for burning down their houses? No. Call it what it is = anti-jewish!! The jews have stolen the word Semite for their own nefarious purposes. To smear the ones who oppose them. Well, the word is anti-jewish. And the criticism of a nation cannot be connected to a set of languages, which is the origin of the word Semite.

  • hp

    The world has already had a definition thrust upon us.
    Anti-Semitic = anything and anyone Jews don’t like.
    Golly, that was easy..

  • Please stop using that stupid, misleading and overly politicized word ANTI-SEMITISM. The words anti-communist and anti-feminist are so easy to understand, so why can’t we just call people who hate Jews ANTI-JEWISH? Of course, there are other people who hate Jewish corruption. Many limit their hatred to Zionism, but others also target “Jewish bankers,” the Jewish Mafia, the Jews who control the corporate media and Hollywood, etc. A good term for this logical, non-racist hatred of select Jewish groups is ANTI-JEWARCHISM. Learn more at

  • Denis MacEoin

    The original EU definition of anti-zsemitism (from 2005) was almost identical to the current State Department version, but was changed a few years ago, when the clauses identifying anti-Israelism as anti-Semitic were deliberately dropped. See here:

  • Stanley Dubinsky

    “Antisemitic graffiti in Venezuela: Judios go home!.”
    No self-respecting Jew would willingly wish to stay in the stinking, dysfunctional cesspool that Venezuela has become. The Venezuelan people have turned their own country into an outdoor toilet, economically, socially, and politically – despite their Jewish citizens’ best efforts to save them from it.

  • Chaim Birnboim

    Now, if we can just get University of California President Janet Napolitano to accept the same definition of anti-Semitism when Jewish students on UC campuses are treated aggressively when they come out with pro-Israel activities.

  • steven L

    Antisemitism being a core value of the Europeans, it is going to be difficult for Europe to come with a valid definition short of committing perjury.
    Antisemitism in the US is moving in the wrong direction and the US Adm has been a major contributor to this state of affairs.

    • hp

      I’d suggest being booted from 90+ nations for their usual snake in the grass usury, conniving, scheming and general corruption of every value normal humans hold dear, implies a far greater realm of dislike than simply Europe.

      One can imagine this distaste for the natural born usurers extending to every corner of the earth(done) and on out into the solar system and the entire galaxy.

      Quite obviously God will need to rearrange the workings of the universe so as to not be accuse of being (haha) anti-Semitic.