The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has joined 178 international Jewish organisations calling on the United Nations to ensure that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism be “referenced positively” in its upcoming “UN Plan on Monitoring Antisemitism and Enhancing a System-wide Response.”
The meeting to establish the plan will be held on June 20-21.
AIJAC, along with the other signatories, sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Under-Secretary-General Miguel Moratinos, expressing their support and appreciation for the UN’s “commitment to making the United Nations a more effective force for countering and combating Jew-hatred around the world”.
They also expressed their collective view that the IHRA definition “is an indispensable tool to understand and fight antisemitism, and one that can be used entirely consistently with fundamental human rights standards.”
AIJAC executive director Colin Rubenstein said, “It is imperative that organisations with the responsibility to protect society from the evils of antisemitism are equipped with the best, most effective tools to identify it.
“While this latest appeal is to the United Nations, the identical principle should apply also to universities and other Australian institutions.”
AIJAC director of international and community affairs Jeremy Jones noted the IHRA definition “has the strong support of Jewish communities and will be adopted by any institution that is serious about fighting contemporary antisemitism.”
123 academics and practitioners from across the world have also endorsed the letter.
It follows US President Joe Biden’s unveiling of a wide-ranging plan to combat antisemitism, of which the IHRA definition is part.