Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Britain adopts broader anti-Semitism definition to fight hate crimes against Jews

Via Times of Israel:
Britain will be among the first countries worldwide to adopt an international definition of anti-Semitism in efforts to fight hate crimes and incitement targeting Jews which have been on the rise this past year.

On Monday, in pre-released excerpts of a speech she is set to give, British Prime Minister Theresa May said “it means there will be one definition of anti-Semitism – in essence, language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews – and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it,” according to Reuters.

“It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a groundbreaking step,” her speech reads. It was not yet clear when she would give the address.

The definition adopted by Britain was formulated earlier this year by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and is designed to make it harder to evade repercussions for discriminatory or prejudiced behavior because of a lack of clarity or differing opinions on what constitutes anti-Semitism.

The intention was to “ensure that culprits will not be able to get away with being anti-Semitic because the term is ill-defined, or because different organizations or bodies have different interpretations of it,” read a statement by Downing Street, cited by the Guardian..

The IHRA definition reads: “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.”

According to the definition, “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 anti-Semitic.”

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