Labour councillors are calling for Barnet Council to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism at its forthcoming Full Council meeting on 31 January.
A motion from Labour Group Leader, Cllr Barry Rawlings, states that "Council expresses alarm at the rise in anti-Semitism in recent years across the UK. This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using anti-Semitic tropes. Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of anti-Semitism."
The motion welcomes the announcement by the UK Government in December that it will sign up to the internationally recognised IHRA guidelines on anti-Semitism which 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.
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.
"I look forward to our Full Council meeting adopting this internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism and its guidelines, at our meeting next week."
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
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568