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November 2, 2022 4:26 pm

Los Angeles City Council Endorses Leading 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 Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

City Councilman Paul Koretz proposed the non-legally binding measure, which cited a 32 percent rise in hate crimes across the state.

“Contemporary manifestations of antisemitism may include: calling for, aiding, or justifying the harming of Jews; making dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews; denying the fact, scope, mechanism, or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people during the Holocaust,” the resolution said.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism is used by over 850 governing institutions, including the US State Department, European Union, and the United Nations. Over 30 countries have adopted it with support from lawmakers across the political spectrum.

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The LA resolution also cited “denying the Jewish people their right to self determination” and “holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel” as examples of antisemitism.

“This is a victory against hatred and ignorance,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, a Los Angeles based nonprofit that monitors antisemitism, said on Tuesday. “The Holocaust did not begin with gas chambers. It began with vicious hateful words. That is why we need IHRA, a clear and widely accepted definition that will make our city government better educated and equipped to fight bigotry against Jews.”

The City Council’s endorsement of the IHRA definition comes just over a week after California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement condemning recent antisemitic incidents, including a hate group’s hanging of an anti-Jewish banner over the 405 freeway, an act motivated by several manic outbursts from the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

In several interviews, West blamed “Jewish Zionists” for his erratic behavior, declining stardom, and divorce from Kim Kardashian, a multi-billionaire reality television star and civil rights advocate. He has not formally apologized for his remarks and continues to insist that they are divinely inspired.

Recently, comedian Michael Rapaport called on West to be a better man.

“Stop blaming the Jews. Stop blaming Black culture. Stop blaming Lebron James. Stop blaming the Jewish media” he said. “Grow the f*** up you baby…You thought you could get back Kim. She moved on.”

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