On the eve of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, one of the most tragic moments in Jewish history, Prime Minister Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with the President of the Central Jewish Council of Greece, Mr. David Saltiel and members of the Bureau, as well as the President of the Greek Delegation at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, in order to announce the adoption by Greece of the IHRA Working Definitions on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial.
The Definition of Anti-Semitism has been adopted by many countries inside and outside the European Union as well as by the European Parliament, which in its directive to member states requested to incorporate it into national legislation. However, with today's announcement, Greece becomes the first country to adopt the Working Definition for Holocaust Denial, in an act of great historical importance.
The Prime Minister was informed about the course of preparation of the Greek Presidency of the International Alliance in 2021, an event that will bring the country to the core of the states fighting anti-Semitism and having a decisive say in the preparation and implementation of legislative and educational proposals to combat it.
A working definition of anti-Semitism
The Working Definition of Anti-Semitism is a key tool in the fight against anti-Semitism, a guide to identifying and identifying anti-Semitic incidents, collecting evidence and supporting the implementation of anti-Semitism legislation. It was approved for the first time by the European Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC, today FRA, Fundamental Rights Agency) in 2005, but was only adopted in 2016 by the 31 countries (of which 24 are European) that make up the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is also the first intergovernmental organization to adopt the definition. In recent years, efforts have been made to adopt the definition by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but, unfortunately, this has not yet been achieved.
What is the utility of the operational definition of anti-Semitism?
To judge an episode as anti-Semitic is a political characterization, which, in the absence of a tool such as a working definition of anti-Semitism, can remain subjective and nebulous, leaving no room for legitimate disagreement and controversy. To qualify an episode as anti-Semitic one must be well aware of how anti-Semitism works, the context within which the specific episode occurred, its intentions and consequences. A working definition of anti-Semitism can help states and their citizens mobilize against anti-Semitism. A comprehensive, clear and universally understood definition of anti-Semitism is an important tool that helps society and the authorities of each country to better understand which actions are characterized as anti-Semitic, what exactly anti-Semitism is and how we must combat it. Let us note indicatively that the definition, for example, clearly separates the criticism towards the state of Israel, to the extent that it can certainly be considered as moving within the framework of the criticism that could be made to any other state, making it clear that this does not can be considered anti-Semitism. So, not only is it not a threat to those who are in favor of Palestinian freedom, but, on the contrary, it helps to distinguish the issues, being a threat only to anti-Semitism, as he characteristically mentions in article in the Jewish Chronicle (12.12.2016), David Hirsh.
The purpose of this document is to provide a practical guide to identifying incidents, collecting evidence and supporting the implementation and enforcement of anti-Semitism legislation. [See HERE the original in English, EUMC / Working definition of Antisemitism].
Basic definition: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews that can be expressed as hatred of Jews. Verbal and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed against Jews or non-Jews and/or their property, against Jewish community institutions and religious buildings."
Additionally, similar events can also be targeted against the State of Israel, understood as a Jewish collective entity. Anti-Semitism often accuses Jews of being conspirators harming humanity and is regularly used to blame Jews "because things go wrong". It is expressed in spoken and written language, audio-visual media and aggressive actions and uses deceptive stereotypes and negative character models.