Anti-Semitism Re-defined

Aug 12, 2019

The U.S. State Department recently revised its definition of anti-Semitism to include “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The State Department has used a working definition of anti-Semitism since 2010.  On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest. This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition.

Contemporary examples of anti-Semitic attacks, whether they are people or property because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews now include, but are not limited to: 

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion. 
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews. 
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust). 
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. 
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. 
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. 
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. 
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. 
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
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