Share

Print this Page

What's New

Resources updated Wednesday, August 07, 2019

August 7, 2019

"The Department of State has used a working definition, along with examples, of anti-Semitism since 2010 (https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm). On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding 'working definition' of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest. This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition. As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.

Bucharest, 26 May 2016

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: 'With humanity still scarred by ...antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils' the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism.

On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

'Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism 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 leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism 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 antisemitism 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, dehumanizing, demonizing, 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 endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior 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 characterize 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.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).

Criminal acts are antisemitic 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.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries."

Updated State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism Document

Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

"A corruption scandal involving sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation against whistleblowers and lots of business-class travel has gripped the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It represents a new low for Unrwa and an indictment of the idea of an international agency dedicated to a single interest. But it's also a unique opportunity to see behind the curtain of a billion-dollar U.N. bureaucracy and phase it out.

The allegations come from a leaked Unrwa ethics report completed in December 2018 exposed last week by Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse. The published account accuses Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl of appointing Maria Mohammedi, with whom he had a relationship "beyond the professional," to a newly created and fast-tracked role as senior adviser and flying her around the world in business class.
...
According to the report, Ms. Mohammedi's new job allowed her to join Mr. Krähenbühl on his busy and expensive travel schedule. Current and former Unrwa officials describe him as perpetually absent from Jerusalem, a submarine who "surfaces for a couple of days" of public meetings then "disappears into the unknown for protracted periods." Unrwa, which complains it's strapped for cash, would have footed the bill for all of it.

The commissioner-general's travel, the report explains, left chief of staff Hakam Shahwan in control of Unrwa's operations in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Mr. Shahwan himself stands accused of bullying staff, acting like a "thug," bypassing procedures for procurement and other financial decisions, and excessive partiality to the Palestinian Authority.
...
One lesson is that funders must demand internal controls, external audits and public access to information. Assurances regarding Palestinian needs aren't enough. Scrutiny is also needed for the Palestinian Authority, which uses foreign aid to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in pensions to terrorists and their families.

A second lesson concerns the danger of devoting an international organization to a single population. Unrwa was effectively taken over by Palestinians decades ago. Politicization began at the bottom with school curricula, but crept upward with senior managers calling for the Palestinian right of return..."

The U.N. Agency for Palestinians Is Even Worse Than You Imagine Article