French Jews urge Macron to adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism

The French Parliament was supposed to approve the adoption of the definition on May 29, but the vote was postponed and never rescheduled.

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June 27, 2019 05:44
1 minute read.
Emmanuel Macron looks at a grave defaced with a swastika during a visit to the Jewish cemetery

Emmanuel Macron looks at a grave defaced with a swastika during a visit to the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim on February 19.. (photo credit: FREDERICK FLORIN/POOL/VIA REUTERS)

 
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French Jews have urged French President Emmanuel Macron to formally adopt the definition of antisemitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“In the current context, where antisemitism and its other form of manifestation anti-Zionism do not know any limit, we believe that there is a big need that this proposition is examined and voted as soon as possible,” Francis Kalifat, president of CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions), wrote in a letter to Macron on June 19.

The content of the letter was published on the CRIF website on Monday.

Macron had promised to adopt the definition of antisemitism drafted by the IHRA during the annual CRIF dinner on February 20.

“For the first time in many years, antisemitism is killing people again in France,” Macron said on the occasion as reported by JTA, adding that French authorities “did not know how to react effectively,” and calling this a “failure.”

Earlier in February, French authorities had reported a 74% increase in antisemitic incidents in 2018 over the previous year.

The French Parliament was supposed to approve the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism on May 29, but the vote was postponed and never rescheduled.

Among the examples of antisemitic attitudes mentioned in the IHRA definition are accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nations, and denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, for example, “by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” Its adoption by governments and institutions is considered especially significant to tackle antisemitism in disguise of anti-Zionism.

Kalifat asked for the vote to be scheduled before the National Assembly closes for its summer recess.

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