The ‘No to the IHRA Definition’ website

 

JVL Introduction

In late September, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, alongside the British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), launched a website focused on opposition to the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

The site is now been expanded with the posting of its guide to Political Interference in University Teaching and Research.

We are pleased to post a PDF downloadable file of that document below.


A quick guide to the site

The IHRA definition of antisemitism, and its attendant examples, conflates criticism of the policies, practices, and constitutional order of the State of Israel, with antisemitism.

Its deployment, at both universities and local councils, is undermining our ability to hold Israel accountable for harming Palestinians, and violating international law.

The website outlines why the harmful definition should be opposed, and acts a repository for the wide breadth of criticisms the IHRA definition has generated, from legal experts, scholars of antisemitism, Palestinian civil society, academic bodies, and many more.

Click here to visit the new website.

Here are just some of the things you will find there:

 

And you can download a PDF of the new Political Interference in University Teaching and Research document here.

Comments (5)

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    This website is a very useful source of analysis, information, strategic and tactical advice and a wide range of practical resources. Highly recommended – needs to be enthusiastically promoted. My only reservation is the very lukewarm reception it gives to the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism.

    I agree totally with the website’s criticism (which reflects widespread views) that a) we never needed a special definition on antisemitism, and b) having such a definition tends to create totally unjustified assumptions about hierarchies of racism, with antisemitism at the top. I agree too that c) focusing on antisemitism, yet again pushes Palestinians off-screen.

    Nevertheless, I fear that the ‘no definition’ ship sailed a very long time ago. Given the massive, ill-thought and often craven adoption of the IHRA document across the university sector and local government, it is unrealistic – and unhelpful to winning round senior university and council administrators – simply to go for a ‘no definition’ alternative. With all its limitations, the JDA is a solid, intellectually coherent document which comprehensively knocks the IHRA document out of the ring. It has secured the support of hundreds of senior Jewish academics ranging from agonised liberal Zionists to the fiercest anti Zionists. That is a really extraordinary achievement.

    The JDA was deliberately launched without fanfare so as to avoid hysterical denunciation from the usual suspects. Unfortunately, that has seriously adversely affected the traction it has achieved, indeed, very knowledge of its existence. This terrific website could have made a major contribution to promoting it as a practical tool for cutting the IHRA document off at the roots. I am very sad that it let that opportunity go.

  • George Peel says:

    I hope no one minds, but I thought it might be helpful if readers had something to compare the IHRA to. Will this do?

    https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/

  • Stephen Richards says:

    Have cake & eat it, or how to eliminate empirical & broad based criticism or patterns of power & ownership?

  • Rory O'Kelly says:

    The obvious thought suggested by the IHRA definition is that if antisemitism had been as widespread as has been claimed in the Labour Party or in society generally it would not have been necessary to change the meaning of the word to make it possible to accuse people of it.

    The advantage of ‘dictionary’ definitions, expressed in abstract terms without reference to particular situations, is that if you are inclined to condemn something which is not covered by the definition you are (or should be) forced to examine your own motivations. The alternative, much more popular these days, is to decide what you want to condemn first and then trim your definition to fit. In the one case you want to condemn something because you define it as antisemitic; in the other, you define it as antisemitic because you want to condemn it .

    Some tendentious definitions are worse than others and the IHRA one is about the worst imaginable. Nonetheless, whatever their individual merits, the general principle behind them is wrong.

  • Dr Rodney Watts says:

    Naomi Wayne, as usual, has hit virtually every nail on the head. The “no definition ship” has indeed long left port! Sadly this reflects too both inaction and unwise actions by the PSC over a number of years in a number of key areas that could have benefited the Palestinian cause. (No doubt Tony Greenstein could elaborate). The references to the Jerusalem Declaration made by both Naomi and George Peel are certainly important.

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