06.19.20

Lankford, Rosen Statement on Further Adoption of IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, released the following statement applauding Argentina and Serbia for recently adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition on anti-Semitism.

“We have long-supported adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which is a helpful tool to train law enforcement and inform educators about how to identify and combat anti-Semitism,” said the Senators. “We applaud Argentina and Serbia for joining the United States State Department and other countries in adopting this definition. As we witness a dangerous spike in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, we call on the US and other countries to follow their example and join together in the fight against hate.”

Background

On June 1 and June 7, 2020, respectively, Serbia and Argentina announced the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. In 2016, the IHRA consortium of 31 countries at the time, including the United States, Israel, and most of Europe, developed and formally adopted the Working Definition of Antisemitism: “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 working definition also includes several important illustrations of anti-Semitism in order to provide a non-exhaustive list of helpful examples.

Last year, Lankford and Rosen launched the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism. The Task Force now has 40 Senators, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

In January, Senators Rosen and Lankford, along with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a resolution commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Allied Forces during World War II. The bipartisan resolution unanimously passed the Senate in February. Lankford also recently penned an op-ed with Gary Bauer, a Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Gayle Manchin, Vice Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, to highlight areas of increasing anti-Semitism around the world.

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