RESOLUTION – Commitment to the IHRA working definition of antisemitism


EUJS is strongly committed to fighting antisemitism in Europe in all its forms and thus requires a consistent definition of what can be considered antisemitic in order to be able to combat it effectively. Such a definition enables third parties to look at scenarios of suspected antisemitism with a clearer lens and identify their behaviour more precisely. In its existing and ongoing efforts to promote the IHRA working definition of antisemitism across Europe, EUJS should officially adopt the definition.

EUJS notes that:

  1. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has written such a definition in 2016.
  2. The IHRA working definition of antisemitism is defined here:
  3. This definition is used by the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community to define contemporary antisemitism. It has also been adopted by the European Commission, some governments, political parties, public institutions, universities and sports clubs. 
  4. Over the past year, Jewish people’s self-definition of antisemitism has seen unprecedented attacks. Both inside and outside of student spaces, factions within both the Jewish community and wider population have sought to undermine and block the IHRA definition.

EUJS believes that:

  1. The IHRA definition highlights the importance of context in understanding what may be antisemitic and provides useful examples. It is not a legal instrument; it simply remains as a tool that can be used for clarifying what is and is not antisemitism and why.
  2. By having institutions such as universities and sports clubs adopt the definition, Jews in Europe will be better protected in their everyday environments. Especially young Jews who are students and encounter antisemitism on campus or sports clubs which are known for antisemitic chants, stereotyping and potential violence are at a greater risk. 
  3. EUJS recognises that mere adoption of the definition is not sufficient without following up to ensure it has been successfully implemented. The impact on Jewish students should be the barometer of success for evaluating how successfully IHRA has been implemented on campus.

EUJS resolves to:

  1. Adopt and apply the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.
  2. Adopt the position that the IHRA definition is not complete without all its examples.
  3. Establish our response that anything other than the definition of antisemitism that we choose for ourselves is inadequate.
  4. Actively campaign for Member Organisations, NGOs, political groups, governments and others to adopt and apply the IHRA working definition of antisemitism with its examples. Where appropriate, EUJS should lobby other local, national, or international bodies to adopt the IHRA definition.
  5. Actively campaign for Students Unions and Universities to adopt the IHRA definition, by empowering individual member unions to carry this work out locally. 
  6. Actively campaign for sports clubs to adopt  the IHRA definition.
  7. Ensure that the IHRA definition of antisemitism is not misused to shut down legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, as the IHRA itself says: “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”.
  8. Provide opportunities for educational training on the importance of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.
  9. Commit to working with universities after they have adopted IHRA to ensure it is being used effectively and enforces disciplinary procedures. This may include on-site antisemitism awareness training and guidelines on best practice disciplinary procedures. The EUJS “Supporting your Jewish Students Guide” is available as a resource.

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