Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 - 13 of Kislev, 5780

French parliament calls on government to adopt IHRA antisemitism working definition

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 The text says: “For some years now, France, the whole of Europe, but also almost all Western democracies are facing a rise in antisemitism,” the resolution states. “Anti-Zionist acts can at times hide antisemitic realities. Hate toward Israel due to its perception as a Jewish collective is akin to hatred toward the entire Jewish community.”

PARIS—The French parliament has voted a resolution calling on the government to join other European countries in adopting the the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism which defines anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism.

The resolution also calls on the government to join other European countries in formally adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The resolution was proposed by MP Sylvain Maillard, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party and chairman of the Transpartisan Parliamentary Study Group on Antisemitism. The IHRA definition was adopted in 2017 by the European Parliament and in 2018 by the Council of the European Union.

154 vote in the French parliament in favour of the resolution, 72 against.

The text says: “For some years now, France, the whole of Europe, but also almost all Western democracies are facing a rise in antisemitism,” the resolution states. “Anti-Zionist acts can at times hide antisemitic realities. Hate toward Israel due to its perception as a Jewish collective is akin to hatred toward the entire Jewish community.”

In France today, “dirty Zionist… means dirty Jew,” Maillard said.

The IHRA definition says that “anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews that can be manifested by hatred towards them. The rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are aimed at Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and / or their property, community institutions and places of worship. ”

The definition lists forms of antisemitism, such as comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, claiming Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor, and using classic antisemitic claims and symbols to characterize Israel and Israelis.

Maillard’s resolution was highly controversial and debated in the French media in recent weeks. A letter from 39 organizations penned in October said that antisemitism should not be defined separately from other forms of racism, and that the motion stifles freedom of expression for supporters of Palestinians and critics of Israel.

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