SWC Contributes to New EU Handbook for the Practical Use of the IHRA “Working Definition of Antisemitism”

January 8, 2021

Mark Weitzman, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Government Affairs Director, was one of the key contributors towards a new handbook for the practical use of the    International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which was just released. This document was commissioned by the European Commission and published jointly with IHRA, with support from the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

Based on the comprehensive research carried out by the Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (Bundesverband RIAS), the handbook provides an overview of good practices by international organizations, national administrations, civil society, and Jewish communities from across Europe. The 35 practices range from; training for law enforcement to incident recording and reporting

The handbook also includes 22 sourced incidents of antisemitism in Europe that highlight the relevance of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism when assessing manifestations of antisemitism.

"At a time when the impact of conspiracy theorists and antisemites are being felt both in Europe and the US it is imperative to have the means to fight back. The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism has become a vital tool in this effort and the Handbook offers specific examples and practices to help assist in implementing and using the Working Definition,” said Weitzman.

Weitzman is considered to be the “architect” of the IHRA definition and one of the principal figures in shaping and introducing this definition of antisemitism. So far, it has been adopted by the US State Department and by more than 26 countries and entities around the world as a non-legally binding definition of antisemitism.

For further info on the handbook click here: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/d3006107-519b-11eb-b59f-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400, 000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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