By: TPS Staff
Israel applauded Spain’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, the latest country to take on the fight against Jew-hatred.
“Congratulations to Spain for adopting the IHRA working definition for antisemitism, which sends out a strong (and tragically very relevant nowadays) message against this form of bigoted hatred,” Tweeted Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry Alon Ushpiz on Sunday.
Spain stated last month that it was adopting the definition, “not legally binding,” as “a useful guidance tool in education and training.”
Serbia adopted the definition in June, and Italy, Cyprus, France and Portugal did so in recent months.
The IHRA has 34 member countries and seven observer countries. Acceptance to the IHRA depends on the counties’ adherence to the Stockholm Declaration on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research of January 28, 2000, as well as several other conditions.
The IHRA adopted in 2016 the working-definition of anti-Semitism, according to which 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.”
The IHRA states that anti-Semitic examples include denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and leveling accusations against Jewish citizens of various countries that they are more loyal to Israel than to their own countries.
Spain joins the United Kingdom, Austria, Scotland, Romania, Canada, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, Macedonia, the US, Greece, Belgium, Slovenia, Sweden, Holland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxemburg, France, Cyprus, Italy, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Serbia and Argentina.
In December of 2019, TPS reported that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to remove the Aalst Carnival from the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List following accusations of anti-Semitic imagery being displayed at the carnival.
At the time, it was reported that Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed the “moral and principled decision” to remove the Carnival from UNESCO’s List and expressed his hope that the anti-Semitic displays will be removed from the carnival all-together.
“In the 21st century, during a time when anti-Semitism is once again rearing its ugly head, there cannot be any tolerance for this ugly phenomenon. We expect the Belgian government to come out clearly and concisely against the inclusion of anti-Semitic displays in the carnival,” he said.
“The scourge of anti-Semitism threatens not only the Jewish people, but every society and country in which it exists. The world must come together in the fight against it,” he added.
The carnival takes place in the Belgian city of Aalst, with UNESCO’s stamp of approval. The carnival took place regardless of its appearance on UNESCO’s list.
Emmanuel Nahshon, Ambassador of Israel to Belgium and Luxembourg, said that the decision to keep the anti-Semitic displays is “unfortunate.”
“Unfortunately, they preferred anti-Semitism over the universal values of culture. We will be extremely vigilant in order to make sure that the carnival does not become another demonstration of ant-Semitism,” he said.
A UNESCO committee decided to delist the festival after the Belgian UNESCO delegation and the city’s mayor, Christoph D’Haese, asked UNESCO to remove the carnival from the list rather than change the carnival’s anti-Semitic displays.