RJC Supports Use of IHRA Antisemitism Definition

Washington, DC – The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement today:

RJC is proud to stand with other Jewish organizations to urge the incoming Biden administration to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism throughout the federal government. The IHRA definition is a very important tool in the fight against antisemitism. It includes examples to clarify the concept and distinguish ordinary criticism of Jewish people and of the State of Israel from antisemitism.

Since 2016, the IHRA definition has been adopted by over 20 countries. The US government adopted a similar definition as far back as 2005, which was used during the George W. Bush, Clinton, Obama, and Trump administrations. In December 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that formally incorporated the IHRA definition into the implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, giving protection to Jewish students facing antisemitism on college campuses. 

The IHRA working definition of antisemitism protects free speech while clearly delineating rhetoric and actions that are antisemitic.

Some fringe groups in the Jewish community oppose the IHRA definition; they are the same groups that support the BDS movement that seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel. Groups that seek Israel’s destruction and attack Jews who support Israel are, in and of themselves, antisemitic. Their hatemongering should have no place in American government policymaking.