No Good Definitions (Randyjw; December 21, 2019)
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an intergovernmental organization comprised of member states who have been approved and accepted to the organization based on several criteria: paid membership; adherence to the principles of the Stockholm Declaration (January 28, 2000); the establishment of a Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27th, or other); Holocaust archives open to research; approval and other considering factors.
Each member state may nominate its countries’ delegational body from those it designates experts, including individuals, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and others, with one Head of Delegation representing it in Plenary, the decision-making body, within the IHRA. New members first become an Observer Country, who participates in Working Groups in providing recommendations to the IHRA Plenary and Committees. The next step is as a Liaison Country, who works with an IHRA member state or states in establishing a liaison program with that state; final status is as a full member. The Chairmanship of the Plenary body is decided on a yearly volunteer basis from amongst its member states, and whose actual physical location rotates according to the Chairmanship’s member state.
Eight Permanent International Partners of the IHRA , each of which have Observer status only, are: the United Nations (UN); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s ‘Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights’ (OSCE/ODIHR); Arolsen Archives [International Tracing Service (ITS) — (Allied Expeditionary Forces 1948); International Commission for the ITS; ICRC (1955-2012); United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Organisation; the International Refugees Organisation; and the Allied High Commission for Germany; German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv 2013); now, they belong to UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’ program)]; European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA); the European Union (EU); Council of Europe; and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
IHRA’s ‘Working Definition of anti-Semitism’ (Plenary Session – Bucharest: May 26, 2016):
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
There were also anti-Semitic scenarios listed to provide working guidelines for the IHRA. Included among these were these two:
Applying double standards by requiring of it (Israel) a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
The problem with these definitions is that it gives a pass to non-Democratic nations (such as those of the Arab League, or other) to not even have to be bothered about anti-Semitism, as they are exempted from behaving civilly, as the rest of the member states must do. This contravenes the first IHRA guideline I noted, above.
The second problem is that the second guideline of calling anti-Semitism criminal only applies when the country has a law saying that it is a crime. If the country is already ‘anti-Semitic’, then they won’t have such laws, will they? It circles around back to number one, above.