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December 13, 2016 11:34 am

British Government Adopts Official Definition of Antisemitism

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British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: YouTube.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: YouTube.

JNS.org – British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her government will adopt an official definition of antisemitism, while also calling it “disgusting” that antisemitic views are found in British politics.

The working definition of antisemitism was developed in May by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental organization backed by 31 countries. The IHRA defines antisemitism as 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 also includes certain anti-Israel positions as being under the banner of Jew-hatred.

“It is unacceptable that there is antisemitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a ground-breaking step,” May said in a private lunch hosted by the Conservative Friends of Israel. “It means there will be one definition of antisemitism — in essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews — and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”

In her remarks, May also slammed the opposition Labour Party for the increase in antisemitism in its ranks under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who has also been accused of harboring antisemitic and anti-Israel views of his own.

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A British parliamentary committee report in October had said that Corbyn does not fully comprehend “the distinct nature of contemporary antisemitism” and suggested that his party is “institutionally antisemitic.”

A spokesman for Corbyn said in a statement, “Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party share the view that language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews is antisemitism, and is as repugnant and unacceptable as any other form of racism. We agree with the IHRA ‘working definition’ of antisemitism.”

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