Attacks on Jews during recent conflict confirms necessity of IHRA definition, says Dr. Moshe Kantor

(Wednesday, June 16, 2021) – During an event held by Tel Aviv University commemorating the fifth anniversary of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, said the recent rise in antisemitism during the conflict between Israel and Hamas demonstrates why the definition with its examples are so vital.

“We are seeing today one of the worst waves of antisemitism in recent times. Antisemitism runs wild on social media and in the streets and hatred of Israel is used to practice hate on all Jews,” Dr. Kantor said. “Nothing so clearly demonstrates the importance and value of the IHRA definition than the clear examples we are witnessing today linking hatred of Israel with hatred of Jews.

“When angry mobs gather in front of a synagogue, when rabbis are targeted, when an antisemitic convoy rides through Jewish neighborhoods, one thing becomes very clear.
Just as the definition makes no distinction in its manifestations of Jew hate, neither do the antisemites themselves.”

The event, held by The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, was titled “Who Is an Antisemite? The Polemic and Its Significance”, and brought together leading academics, experts and activists in the arena of antisemitism for a symposium to talk about the significance and necessity of the definition.

“The debate around antisemitism and anti-Zionism is a bit like the one about the chicken and the egg. The result is the same, so it does not really matter which came first,” Dr. Kantor continued. For antisemites, Israel is the “collective Jew”. What better way therefore to target hatred towards the maximum number of Jews than to target the State of Israel?”

“If there was any doubt of what antisemites think of the IHRA definition, we can see that it has been the target of attacks and attempts to come up with alternatives, which focus on protecting antisemites and not Jews. Thanks to the IHRA definition, we now have an international, widely accepted standard on what constitutes antisemitism.”

Dr. Kantor spoke about the growing success of the IHRA definition and said that 450 leading organizations, including 28 countries, have adopted or endorsed the Working Definition of Antisemitism.

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Events & Meetings

Raya Kalenova addresses Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism

EJC Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova addressed the 7th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA), held in Jerusalem. 

Ariella Woitchik addresses conference on protection of Jewish cemeteries

EJC Director of European Affairs Ariella Woitchik addressed an online conference on the protection of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe.

WGAS MEPs discuss upcoming Strategy on combating antisemitism with European Commission Vice-President Schinas

The members of the European Parliament Working Group Against Antisemitism (WGAS) and European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas held a meeting to discuss the Commission's upcoming strategy on combatting antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.

Dr. Moshe Kantor re-elected as Chair of the WJC Policy Council

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has been re-elected as Chair of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress.

EJC and WGAS hold webinar on Holocaust education and remembrance in the digital age

The European Jewish Congress, together with the European Parliament Working Group against Antisemitism (WGAS), organised a webinar entitled “Holocaust education and remembrance. Keeping up with the digital age.”