Britain’s Prime Minister will today announce that the UK Government will adopt a new, clearer definition of antisemitism.
According to Downing Street, Theresa May will deliver a major speech to a Conservative Friends of Israel event and outline a new definition of antisemitism, as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The definition includes claims that Israel has no right to exist.
The IHRA definition states that “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
When the IHRA published its definition earlier this year, it said that “accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing of exaggerating the Holocaust,” or “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” are antisemitic.
The move by the Prime Minister is extremely significant, as this is her first speech on this issue since taking office. The definition is legally binding and May will highlight that police, councils, universities and public bodies can use the wording.
She will say: “It is unacceptable that there is antisemitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a Government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a ground-breaking step.
“It means there will be one definition of antisemitism – in essence, language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews – and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”
In addition, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, arrived in London yesterday for a working visit, and will deliver a speech at the same event.