Motion 412, titled ‘It’s Time to Combat Anti-Semitism’, officially adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, committing the NUS to combat antisemitism in all forms.
An amendment to the motion (412a) submitted by students who were unhappy with the IHRA definition was rejected.
Sir Eric was instrumental in the drafting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which Prime Minister Theresa May announced the UK would be adopting at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in December 2016. The IHRA definition is now used by UK police, councils, universities, and schools.
In February 2017, Universities Minister Jo Johnson MP wrote in a letter to Universities UK in February underlining the obligation of all UK higher education institutions to tackle antisemitism on campus and abide by the IHRA definition, particularly in the context of ‘Israel Apartheid Week’.
In the same month, the London Assembly agreed to adopt the IHRA’s definition, pledging to challenge the rise of antisemitism in the UK and the use of anti-Zionist rhetoric as a cloak for antisemitism.
The IHRA antisemitism definition states: “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”.
The definition includes various modern examples of antisemitism, including: “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 endeavour; applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour 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”.