Agenda item

Adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition of Anti-Semitism

Proposed by Councillor Lanie Shears (seconded by Councillor Andrew Johnson):

 

This Council deplores anti-Semitism in all its forms and therefore adopts the definition of anti-Semitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in full and without amendment; and in doing so pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism:

 

‘“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
 
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
 
Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

 

·         Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

 

·         Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

 

·         Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

 

·         Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

 

·         Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·         Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

 

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

 

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

 

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

 

·         Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

 

Anti-Semitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of anti-Semitic materials in some countries).
 
Criminal acts are anti-Semitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
 
Anti-Semitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.’

 

This Council requests Cabinet to set up a Panel comprising cross party Councillor membership and leading members of the Jewish community, together with equivalent representatives from other religious communities within Harlow to explore what measures can be taken to be build confidence in the Jewish and other religious communities. 

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Lanie Shears (seconded by Councillor Andrew Johnson):

 

This Council deplores anti-Semitism in all its forms and therefore adopts the definition of anti-Semitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in full and without amendment; and in doing so pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism:

 

‘“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
 
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
 
Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

 

·         Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

 

·         Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

 

·         Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

 

·         Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

 

·         Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·         Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

 

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

 

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

 

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

 

·         Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

 

Anti-Semitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of anti-Semitic materials in some countries).
 
Criminal acts are anti-Semitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
 
Anti-Semitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.’

 

This Council requests Cabinet to set up a Panel comprising cross party Councillor membership and leading members of the Jewish community, together with equivalent representatives from other religious communities within Harlow to explore what measures can be taken to be build confidence in the Jewish and other religious communities. 

 

The motion was carried.