Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman issued the following statement on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism:
“The IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism has been endorsed and used by the Obama administration’s State Department, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, 23 European nations and other countries around the world. It’s a critical tool that serves as a guide for understanding and fighting antisemitism.
“It is liberal democracies around the world which have adopted the IHRA definition, while authoritarian regimes like Russia have opposed it.
“With antisemitic incidents rising at a shocking rate around the country and around the world, this is no time to give cover to antisemites who attempt to disguise their Jew hatred as mere criticism of Israel.
“The critics are simply wrong on the facts.
“While any government decision can be misused, neither the State Department under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry, nor France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, nor the UK, which all adopted the IHRA definition, have become hotbeds of anti-free speech activity.
“Moreover, the IHRA definition does not in any way preclude criticism of Israel. Rather the IHRA definition itself explicitly says ‘criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.’
“President-elect Joe Biden has long been a key ally in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry. We applaud him for vowing to make combatting rising antisemitism and white supremacy a major priority. Addressing antisemitism requires clarity about what it is. Adopting this internationally recognized definition government-wide will provide that clarity. We urge the Biden administration, and everyone who cares about the safety of Jews, to embrace it.”