IHRA definition of antisemitism – for the avoidance of doubt

The Labour Party and the IHRA definition of antisemitism

There are many claims made about the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s definition of antisemtism. As Jonathan Rosenhead made clear in What exactly is the IHRA definition of antisemitism? it is a 38-word statement, no more no less. The eleven examples attached to it in a Romanian Chairmanship press release last year (on headed notepaper with a logo that looks like an out-of-focus photocopy) were not adopted by the IHRA, nor indeed by the Labour Party. That hasn’t stopped many councils and others adopting the eleven illustrative, and highly-contentious, examples (and often “forgetting” to include the qualification that “taking into account the overall context” these might (or might not) be examples of antisemitism).

There are claims circulating that when adopting the definition the Labour Party adopted all its potentially illustrative clauses. This claim is false. Below is a copy of an email send by General Secretary Iain McNichol to the then Secretary of Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party last June which makes clear that the definition adopted was indeed the definition, no more and no less.

From: Iain McNicol <[email protected]>

Subject: RE: Motion form Hackney South and Shoreditch

Date: 28 June 2017 at 13:50:51 BST

To: [email protected]” <[email protected]>



Thank you for your email. Your motion will go before the NEC Organisation Committee for noting.

Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour Party’s support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.

The IHRA working definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Following Jeremy’s formal request that the NEC adopts this working definition of antisemitism without delay, the NEC did so on 12 December 2016.

Best wishes,


Iain McNicol
General Secretary
The Labour Party
Southside, 105 Victoria Street

see also: Theresa May’s antisemitism fraud