Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019 - 21 of Heshvan, 5780

Greece endorses IHRA working definition of antisemitism

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The IHRA definition, adopted by the alliance’s 31-member states in 2016, is based on the 2005 European Monitoring Centre (EUMC) Working Definition. It offers a clear and comprehensive description of antisemitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial, and, of particular note, antisemitism as it relates to Israel. Greece is a member of the IHRA.

 

ATHENS—The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has praised Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Mitsotakis announced his endorsement this week in a meeting with the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) on the eve of the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, the ‘’Night of Broken Glass’’, the pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazis throughout Germany on 9–10 November 1938.

In a statement, AJC  said it has long advocated for adoption by European governments of the working definition as a vital tool to mobilize against antisemitism.

“To effectively combat antisemitism requires leaders who are willing to speak out and take action against the persistent hatred of Jews,” said AJC CEO David Harris.

“Thanks to Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Greece has joined the growing list of nations agreeing on defining antisemitism, including 13 European Union member states, though much more is needed to develop and implement concrete action plans.”

The IHRA definition, adopted by the alliance’s 31-member states in 2016, is based on the 2005 European Monitoring Centre (EUMC) Working Definition. It offers a clear and comprehensive description of antisemitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial, and, of particular note, antisemitism as it relates to Israel. Greece is a member of the IHRA.

Despite the presence of a relatively small community of about 5,000 Jews in Greece, anti-Semitism remains an ongoing concern in Greek society, according to a report earlier this year by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

‘’A large percentage of Greeks harbor anti-Semitic attitudes and stereotypes, according to a series of opinion polls. Anti-Semitic incidents, though few in number, are reported throughout the country,’’it said.

‘’The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, the financial crisis and recent nationalist surges have fueled anti-Semitism in contemporary Greek society, and violent events in the Middle East often trigger spikes in anti-Semitism,’’ the ADL said, noting that over the past five years, successive Greek governments as well as state institutions and many opinion-makers have shown increasing awareness of the problem. ‘’As a result, Greece is becoming a more tolerant and inclusive society with a solid commitment to democratic values,’’ the ADL report said.

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