The London Assembly has unanimously agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, pledging to combat and condemn the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK.
The motion comes after Prime Minister Theresa May announced at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in December that the UK would be adopting the definition.
The motion expressed alarm at the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK, including the use of criticism towards Israel as a cloak for anti-Semitic motifs. However, the motion noted that criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other state cannot be deemed anti-Semitic.
Conservative AM Gareth Bacon, who seconded the motion, stated: “It is deeply concerning to note the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in London and the UK in recent years. It has seemed in recent times that there are some areas of society in which this sort of discrimination is considered acceptable. It is not”.
He added: “Hatred and discrimination of any sort is of course wholly unacceptable and it is important the London Assembly makes a point of taking a stand”.
The IHRA is an intergovernmental organisation backed by 31 countries, and in May 2016 agreed a definition it hopes will become widely adopted globally.
UK Police already use a version of the definition but it will now be used by councils, universities and other public bodies.
The UK’s Special Envoy for Post Holocaust Issues and CFI Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles, played an instrumental role in the drafting of the definition.