Serbia has become the eleventh country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
Israel’s embassy in Belgrade welcomed the move, stating that it “will help Serbia in recognizing and prosecuting cases of this dangerous phenomenon.”
According to JNS, the decision of the Serbian government had been made several months ago, but the government did not want news of it to be lost amid the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Several countries have already adopted the definition of antisemitism, with the United Kingdom being the first to do so in 2016. Other Balkan states, including Romania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, have also adopted the definition.
Prior to the Second World War, Serbia had a Jewish population of around 30,000, however two thirds of the population were murdered in the Holocaust, along with the country’s ethnic Serbs, whom Hitler also blamed for Germany’s defeat in the First World War.
After the Second World War had ended, those who survived emigrated, mostly to Israel. As of 2011, there were just over 1,300 Jews in Serbia.