14 October 2021
Responding to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement overnight that the government will formally adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, Liam Getreu, executive director of New Israel Fund Australia, made the following statement:
We remain concerned about codification of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and don’t support the government’s decision.
Fighting antisemitism must remain a high priority. It is equally important to differentiate between the very real threat of hatred and violence towards Jews and legitimate criticism of the actions of the Israeli government.
The Working Definition is increasingly being used to conflate antisemitism and criticism of Israel. Enshrining the definition into policy and law has not been supported by a wide range of groups, including leading mainstream Jewish-American organisations and even the definition’s lead drafter.
We’ve already seen how the Trump administration and others have weaponised the IHRA definition of antisemitism to target those who harbour no hatred towards Jews. Doing so has made it more difficult to identify and confront genuine instances of antisemitism.
We urge the government to remain vigilant about the potential impact of this decision on vibrant discourse, especially on university campuses and in civil society.
- “I drafted the definition of antisemitism. Rightwing Jews are weaponizing it” – Kenneth Stern, The Guardian
- “Open Letter to the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress Priorities for Action Against Antisemitism” – JewishInsider.com
- Progressive Israel Network Groups Oppose Codification of IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, Citing Strong Potential for Misuse