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June 17, 2022 1:39 pm

British Columbia Adopts IHRA Definition of Antisemitism


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Part of an exhibit on the Holocaust supported by the International Holocaust Remembrance Association. Photo: courtesy of IHRA.

The Canadian province of British Columbia adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism on Wednesday.

According to the Jewish News Syndicate, British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced the news in a letter to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), located in Vancouver.

“To effectively combat one of the world’s oldest forms of hatred, we must first clearly identify it,” Premier Horgan wrote in a letter to Nicolas Slobinsky, an official with the CIJA. “In this light, we see the IHRA definition as an important non-legally binding educational tool to help us determine what is and what is not antisemitic, which allows us to work toward a society that is better for all British Columbians.”

In reply, Slobinsky commended Horgan and the provincial government for demonstrating “great leadership”

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“As a member of Canada’s vibrant Jewish minority, CIJA is encouraged that the IHRA definition will be used by the British Columbia government,” Slobinsky said.

British Columbia is now one of over 850 governmental and non-governmental organizations, including 25 states in the US and over 200 local governing bodies in the United Kingdom, to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism since 2016. It is also the latest Canadian province to take the step, following Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.

“The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is increasingly a key pillar in government strategies in the struggle against all forms of contemporary antisemitism,” Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), a group that tracks IHRA definition adoptions, said in March. “The growing pace of adoptions across all sectors and layers of society is expected to continue in the years ahead.”

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