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November 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Top US Jewish Group Lauds Greece for Adopting IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China, Nov. 5, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Aly Song.

A top US Jewish group praised Greece on Monday after it announced the country had officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said, “We congratulate Greece for adopting the IHRA definition as announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It is an important moral declaration vital to the fight against Jew-hatred and racism.”

According to English-language Greek outlet Kathimerini, Mitsotakis revealed the decision on Friday, just before the anniversary of Kristallnacht, at a meeting with the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, David Saltiel, and the head of the Greek delegation to the IHRA, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis.

While the definition has been widely adopted by countries around the world, including the United States, Greece is the first to also adopt a working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion.

The prime minister’s office called this “an act of great historical importance.”

The adoption is to be accompanied by a campaign of academic, educational and cultural activities to promote remembrance of the Holocaust as well as the history of the Jews of Greece.

The Israeli Embassy in Greece called the move a “clear statement of commitment and moral standing.”

“Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his government are showing leadership and setting an example in fighting antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia,” it said.

The IHRA definition says: “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.”

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