IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

Supporting Open Debate in UK Universities

Defining Antisemitism

a form of hostility towards Jews as Jews, in which Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”, as proposed by Oxford University philosopherBrian Klug and recommended by Professor David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism in his report commissioned to assist the

All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Anti-Semitism.2

(ii) “Racial antisemitism, and the term “antisemitism” itself, developed alongside pseudo-scientific theories of race in 19th century Europe. These theories identified and classified different categories of people, then placed them in a racial hierarchy. …Contemporary expressions of antisemitism include treating Jewish people as a monolithic group, stereotyping Jewish people as rich or greedy, or demonizing Jews as all-powerful or as secretly in control of political events. … As we fight antisemitism, we must also examine how inaccurate, misleading, or problematic definitions of antisemitism have a harmful impact on movements for justice. We see these harmful definitions most often in attempts to defend Israeli policies, in anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, and sometimes even in progressive movements. Definitions of antisemitism that treat criticism of Israel or of Zionism as inherently antisemitic are inaccurate and harmful” (Jewish Voices for Peace).3

(iii) The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. The Holocaust, the state-sponsored persecution and murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945,

is history’s most extreme example of antisemitism.”

(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).4

(iv) “The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just

because they are Jewish. It may take the form of

religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of

Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate,

oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include

prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.” (Anti-

Defamation League).5

(v) “Hatred of Jews as a people or of “the Jew” as a

concept. The term “antisemitism” was first coined in

the late 1870s, subsequently it is used with reference

to all types of Jew-hatred – both historical and

contemporary.” (Yad Vashem).


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