Published On: Mon, Dec 12th, 2016

Britain to adopt new Definition of Antisemitism to fight hate crimes

'It means there will be one definition of anti-Semitism—in essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews—and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it, ' says British PM Theresa May.  

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The British government said on Monday it will adopt an international definition of Antisemitism to fight the increased number of hate crimes directed against Jews there in the last two years.

In doing so,  Britain becomes one of the first countries to adopt a new definition of Antisemitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in May. It will be used to protect the world’s fifth largest Jewish population. According to Reuters, in the first half of 2016 the number of hat crimes recorded by the Community Security Trust (CST), which provides security advice to Britain’s 270, 000 Jews, rose by 11 percent.

The new definition reads: “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.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May stated in extracts from a speech she was due to deliver today, that the intent of this new definition is “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. It means there will be one definition of Antisemitism. In essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews—and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”

The IHRA definition has already been adopted by the 31 member countries, including the United Kingdom.
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