Albania Becomes Second Muslim-Majority Nation to Adopt International Antisemitism Definition
Albania’s parliament unanimously approved on Thursday a resolution to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
This made Albania the second Muslim-majority nation to adopt the definition, after neighboring Kosovo.
The US-based Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) hailed the “landmark” decision and called on other countries to follow suit.
“At a time when anti-Semitism is increasing across the world, the IHRA definition has never been more important,” the director of CAM, Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, stated. “Not only does it spell out exactly what Jew-hatred looks like, but adopting IHRA’s definition makes clear that anti-Semitism has no place in free, democratic and tolerant societies such as Albania.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog commented, “I congratulate the Albanian government on the significant step it has taken in the fight against anti-Semitism. The adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is the most important and effective tool currently in place in the international arena to take practical action against the scourge of anti-Semitism.”
The speaker of the Albanian parliament, Gramoz Ruci, said, “It is good news that we, the Albanians and the peoples of the Western Balkans, a region that has suffered more than any other part of the world, the consequences of ethno-centrist and religious-centrist views and attitudes, join this emancipatory action of contemporary civilization: the fight against anti-Semitism.”
“All nations that throughout history have protected Jews from extermination and support them today against stigma have a right to be proud,” he added. “But we Albanians have more reasons to be proud because Albania is the only country in Europe where all Jews were taken under protection and rescued during World War II. Our homeland, Albania, in difficult times has served as a substitute soil for Jews.”
Taulant Balla, chairman of the Socialist Party Parliamentary Group, said, “The positive model of Albania where individuals with different backgrounds, beliefs and races have always found a safe home even in the wildest periods of dictatorial regimes is an inspiration for many peoples. This was evident during World War II, when Albania opened its borders and provided asylum to Jewish refugees fleeing genocide. To this day, the Albanian people are proud of this act of justice and have always valued their relations with the Jewish people, the United States of America and the state of Israel.”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) tweeted:
THANK YOU for taking this important step for identifying and fighting antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/mOLlAhRMfh
— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) October 22, 2020
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted:
Bravo to Albania 🇦🇱 and Prime Minister @EdiRamaal for adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism!
Albania has been a steadfast friend of the Jewish people. We will never forget the nation’s extraordinary efforts to save Jews during WWII.https://t.co/bRE5zJtwEX
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) October 22, 2020