(JNS) The Biden administration has said it will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, a key tool in fighting antisemitism at home and abroad. While addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald stated: “We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action. That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool…. As prior U.S. administrations of both political stripes have done, the Biden administration embraces and champions the working definition. We applaud the growing number of countries and international bodies that apply it. We urge all that haven’t done so to do likewise.” The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations praised the announcement.
The adoption comes amid tensions within the American Jewish community over the IHRA definition. Earlier in January, a group of left-wing Jewish and Israeli groups known as the Progressive Israel Network issued a joint statement in opposition to adopting the definition. The Conference of Presidents pushed back, expressing support for the IHRA definition. The 51-member Conference of Presidents adopted the IHRA definition last week ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. However, two members of the Conference that also belong to the Progressive Israel Network did not: Americans for Peace Now and the Workers Circle.
Over the last several years, the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism has been adopted by countries and organizations across the world as the standard to help combat rising antisemitism.
Main Photo: President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Jan. 28, 2021. President Joe Biden/Facebook