Australian government to adopt controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism

Sydney (QNN)- The Australian government will formally adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, a controversial definition designed to silence criticism of ‘Israel’.

Some Jewish advocacy groups claimed that Australia will formally endorse the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, in a move that will help stop hate speech and violence.

However, others said the broad definition could be used to shut down legitimate criticism of the occupation state of ‘Israel’.

In a pre-recorded message from Canberra the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, told an international forum on combating antisemitism that Australia, “as a people, and as a nation”, would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, the Guardian reported.

“Antisemitism has no place in Australia,” Morrison told the forum. “It has no place anywhere in the world. And we must work together, resolutely and as a global community to reject any word or any act that supports antisemitism towards individuals, towards communities or religious facilities.”

Morrison said the Holocaust “serves as a perpetual and brutal reminder of exclusion, of racism, of systematic political hatred and evil itself”.

The IHRA definition has been formally adopted by the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the United States, the European Parliament and more than 30 other countries.

However, the IHRA definition includes problematic examples of antisemitism that have been criticised by human rights groups as well as some liberal Zionist organisations.

Some of the most controversial examples of antisemitism provided by the IHRA include banning anyone from “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation”.

Another example presented in the IHRA definition: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg, by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

The definition is simply designed to silence criticism of ‘Israel’ and of Zionism by equating this criticism with antisemitism.

The examples have also been used by Israel lobby groups to disrupt the activities of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement around the world by claiming that a boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic.

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network argued the IHRA definition “muddies the water between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism”.

“It has been used to shut down legitimate advocacy for Palestine in other places in the world, and we must not allow this to happen in Australia,” said Bishop George Browning, Apan’s president.

“Adopting particular definitions of any sort of racism is unnecessary, and in this case dangerous.”

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