Anti-Jewish incidents rose 11 per cent in the first half of 2016
A new definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the government has been welcomed by a charity that provides security and advice for Britain’s Jews.
The Community Security Trust (CST) said the definition, drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA), complements existing definitions and could help tackle anti-Jewish hate crime.
Anti-Semitic incidents were up 11 per cent to 557 incidents in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period the year before.
The new definition states: ‘Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.
‘Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’
Dave Rich, an expert at the CST and author of The Left’s Jewish Problem, told Left Foot Forward the definition could help police and other bodies determine whether something is anti-Semitic or not. He said:
“The IHRA definition complements the MacPherson definition in a practical way. MacPherson dictates that, where there is a complaint of anti-Semitism, it should be investigated as such.
The IHRA definition includes a helpful set of guidelines to assist such an investigation, by suggesting different ways that anti-Semitic language and ideas may occur.”
“We think an agreed definition along these lines could make a significant difference to the way that complaints of anti-Semitism are handled by a range of public and private bodies, in the way that [the National Union of Students] has successfully used the IHRA definition’s predecessor, the EUMC working definition, in the past.
So we welcome the government’s adoption of the definition and we look forward to seeing how it will be implemented.”
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.