Barnet Council is the first UK local authority to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism following its Full Council meeting yesterday evening (31 January).
Motions from both the Labour Group Leader, Cllr Barry Rawlings, and Conservative councillor, Brian Gordon, called for the definition to be adopted and were agreed unanimously by cross-party councillors at the meeting.
The internationally recognised IHRA guidelines on anti-Semitism define anti-Semitism as follows:
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The definition is supported by the major representative bodies of the Jewish Community including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the European Jewish Congress.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said "In the week of Holocaust Memorial Day when we remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust, we have just had a spate of cowardly anti-Semitic attacks take place in Barnet.
"It is a reminder that we must always be vigilant against crimes motivated by hate and the racism that underpins it.
"We must never forget that the Holocaust did not begin with killing, it began with words. We must learn from history and resolve that it must never be repeated.
"Barnet has the largest Jewish population in the country, and it is right and proper that we are the first local authority to adopt this definition of anti-Semitism."
1. For a copy of Cllr Rawlings' motion on the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s37486/Opposition%20Motion%20in%20the%20name%20of%20Cllr%20Barry%20Rawlings%20-%20Adoption%20of%20the%20International%20Holocaust%20Remem.pdf
2. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally. For more information on IHRA see: https://holocaustremembrance.com/about-us
For more information contact Cllr Barry Rawlings: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568