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IHRA's Definition of Anti-Semitism

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IHRA's Definition of Anti-Semitism
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SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post IHRA's Definition of Anti-Semitism

This is in the news at the moment with respect to the UK Labour Party's part acceptance of the definition.

For clarity, the definition reads:

1) Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

2) Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

3) Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

4) Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

5) Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

6) Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

7) Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

8) Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

9) Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

10) Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

11) Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

I personally think that many of these are easy to grant and logically do entail antisemitism, i.e. 1, 2, 3.

However, I also think there's a very troubling component here whereby, on the one hand the definition attempts to strongly delineate the difference between Jews and Israel (i.e. 11), but on the other makes accusing Israel of specific crimes equivalent to accusing Jews of specific crimes (i.e. 7 & 8). That seems directly contradictory to me; cake and eat it. I don't see Israel being equivalent to Jews. I consider the citizens of Israel to be Israelis, only some of which are Jews.

Further, if the State of Israel commits crimes against Palestinians which remind people of the horrific treatment of Nazi Germany, then why is it 'anti-semitic' to make that analogy? It's not necessarily anything to do with anti-semitism at all, but rather disgust with the actions of a nation state's treatment of minorities.

I feel that Labour is going to end up signing up to this because they will be continuously characterized as anti-semitic if they don't.

What do other people here feel about these points and about Labour's choices.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:01 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: IHRA's Definition of Anti-Semitism


I agree with your point about the contradictions in the definition.

I also can never understand why anyone doesn't bring up anti-sephardism as a counter-point - the same definition as outlined could be done for anti-sephardism as a means to compare, and enshrine, it into their platform. That way, no-one could accuse them of bigotry, as antisemitism and anti-sephardism would be equally important.

Kindest regards,

"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:08 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: IHRA's Definition of Anti-Semitism

It is an interesting topic (albeit one perhaps a little tangential) about Zionism, white European Jews, and the confrontation with the Arab world.

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premiu ... -1.5345356

Israeli elections are a subject for the psychologists. It’s not an Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi demon, but rather a demon that is both religious and ethnic. It’s the Arab demon that Netanyahu has always known how to trot out when he’s under pressure. This demon was used against late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the argument that “he has no Jewish majority” in the Knesset for concessions in peace negotiations, ultimately leading to his murder over “tribal honor.”

One should remember that Zionism is a white European national movement. This Ashkenazi Zionism, which established the country in an ongoing confrontation with the Arab world, created a serious emotional crisis for Jews from Arab countries. The more the Arab-Israeli conflict intensified, so did the complexity of the situation faced by Jews from Arab lands.

The people with the political, economic, social and cultural clout have no problem declaring proudly, “We are Europeans. We are refined, not like you Moroccans.” On the other hand, what are Jews whose entire existence is Arab supposed to do? In the intensifying national confrontation between European Zionism and the Arab world, Jews from Arab countries were pushed aside. They therefore began referring to themselves as Mizrahim (literally “Easterners”) among other things. Anything to escape the term “Arab,” which connotes national enmity.

Recent events have seen Israel's new Jewish Nation State law making Hebrew the state language and essentially downgrading Arabic. Coupled with that is this notion that the right to exercise national self-determination is unique to the Jewish people... and it's very hard to see an argument that doesn't acknowledge this as implicit apartheid. The notion of Israeli citizenship is being tied to being a European Jew, where Arabs are national enemies and consequently even Jewish Arabs are second class citizens.

So what happens if governments around the world sign up to an agreement where they're not allowed to criticize this? I don't believe Israel should have special treatment. If it acts in a shitty way, then it should be called out for it, regardless of a painful history.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:59 pm
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