Madrid adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

The Madrid Assembly has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

In the same motion adopting the IHRA definition, the assembly also called on the national parliament to pass legislation that would deny public funding to organiaations that promote antisemitic hatred as defined by IHRA.

The national parliament will now be required to hold a debate on the Madrid Assembly’s motion.

The motion, which was introduced two years ago, was passed in a vote that was backed not only by the Center-Right People’s Party currently in power in Madrid.

The IHRA definition has been adopted by 29 countries, the European Union, and numerous local governments and institutions around the world as a way to clearly define antisemitism in order to accurately monitor its prevalence and combat it.

The far-left Podemos party founded in 2014 has led a fierce campaign in Spain to pass legislation in regional and municipal legislatures and authorities boycotting Israel, and has often been criticized as discriminatory and antisemitic.

Provisions in legislation advanced by Podemos and its allies have included banning the municipality or local authority from entering into contracts and agreements with Israeli companies and entities, and even banning business ties and agreements with individual Spanish citizens associated with Israel or Israeli organizations and companies.

There have been successful efforts to overturn such local laws through the courts, but activists believe that the adoption of IHRA’s definition of antisemitism will help to delegitimize the BDS campaign itself.

A debate in the national parliament on the motion could take place at the beginning of next year.

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