Jewish Groups Praise Australia’s Adoption of Leading Definition of Antisemitism
Australia will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA), Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday night at an international conference in Sweden.
“In the history of humanity the Holocaust serves as a perpetual and brutal reminder of exclusion, of racism, of systematic political hatred and evil itself,” Morrison said in a taped address at the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. “My government pledges to embrace the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.”
Australian Jewish groups said the news sent a “strong statement.”
“Antisemitism is increasing around the world and the key to its reduction is education,” said Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler. “The IHRA working definition provides the central plank to this educational endeavor. Antisemitism should have no place in our society. It should be defined, identified, and rejected.”
The definition has been endorsed by hundreds of governmental bodies, universities, corporations and other institutions.
The European Jewish Congress called the move a “vital tool to help governments identify, monitor & address anti-Jewish hatred in all its forms.”
“Adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism shows just how seriously Australia takes the fight against the hatred of Jews,” commented the Board of Deputies of British Jews. “With this announcement, Australia becomes the 34th country to commit to the working definition, and we encourage more countries to join.”
Education Minister Alan Tudge, who in September told Jewish leaders he was “determined to see [the definition] implemented as government policy,” also praised Morrison’s announcement on Twitter.
“This won’t stop all antisemitism, but it will make a difference and help people call it out, including on campuses,” he said.
Wednesday’s conference in the Swedish city of Malmö featured video messages from Israeli President Isaac Herzog, French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other world leaders.