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School of Law

Will the US adopt IHRA’s anti-Semitism definition? What’s the controversy?

Professor Neve Gordon speaks to Al Jazeera about the problems of the US adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism.

A view of the dome of the Capitol building in Washington DC.

Image by Wenhan Cheng from Pixabay

On 1 May, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would codify the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, and the Senate – the upper house of Congress – is now expected to debate and vote on the bill. This has drawn some debate and controversy, as the IHRA’s definition has been accused of conflating criticism of the state of Israel and Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Israeli academic Neve Gordon, Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Queen Mary University of London and Vice President of BRISMES, argues that adopting this definition could brand critical Jewish voices as anti-Semitic. He said: “If I were to teach in a class the Human Rights Watch report stating that Israel is an apartheid state, I could be accused of anti-Semitism.”

Read the full article on Al Jazeera.



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