‘Fundamental Human Rights’: Over 160 Jewish Groups Urge UN To Adopt Antisemitism Definition

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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A letter signed by over 160 Jewish organizations called on the United Nations to include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism in the organization’s upcoming action plan to fight anti-Jewish hatred.

The letter, initially signed by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the European Jewish Congress, the Jewish Federation of America and the World Jewish Congress, was sent to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday to ask the agency to include the definition adopted by the IHRA plenary meeting in Bucharest, Romania, in 2016. The IHRA definition defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” as well as the “rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property.” (RELATED: ‘Ongoing Pain’: Rashida Tlaib Accuses McCarthy Of Trying To ‘Erase’ The Experiences Of Palestinians)

The AJC announced Friday that 160 Jewish groups and community representatives had signed the letter in support of the motion, according to a press release.

“We, the undersigned Jewish communities and organizations, civil society organizations, and scholars and practitioners from around the world, write to you regarding the ‘UN Action Plan on monitoring antisemitism and enhancing a system-wide response’ that Under-Secretary-General Moratinos is presently finalizing in his capacity as the UN’s senior focal point on antisemitism since 2020,” the letter read. “It is our collective view that the non-legally binding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism is an indispensable tool to understand and fight antisemitism, and one that can be used entirely consistently with fundamental human rights standards.”

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. special rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, presented a report on the state of antisemitism globally in 2019 and was later commissioned to create a plan to combat antisemitism. In 2022, Shaheed presented his “Eight Point Action Plan for Advancing the Implementation of the Recommendation,” prompting Jewish groups to voice their support for the plan and encourage the U.N. to use the definition in order to help give “succinct explanations and practical examples that can help governments and individuals at all levels of society.”

A spokesperson for the secretary-general told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they could “confirm that the letter was received just today [and] it will be studied and responded to in due course.”

The U.N. came under fire last week for hosting an event commemorating the founding of the nation of Israel as the Palestinian Nakba or “catastrophe.” During the event, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas argued that the Jewish state spread propaganda about the Israel-Palestinian conflict and accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to start a new Nakba  to remove Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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