Kansas becomes 20th US state to endorse IHRA antisemitism definition

Last month, the bipartisan resolution passed through the Kansas State House of Representatives and was unanimously supported 121-0.

Police at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas (File) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Police at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas (File)
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The Kansas State Senate has passed a resolution recognizing the growing problem of antisemitism in the United States and called for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Last month, the bipartisan resolution was unanimously approved in the Kansas State House of Representatives by a vote of 121-0.

“The State of Kansas adopts the non-legally binding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism” an official document stated. Furthermore, it was stated that the Kansas Department of Administration “shall ensure that the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism is made available as an educational resource for all state agencies.”

The Combat Antisemitism Movement has applauded the Kansas State Senate over the passage of a resolution adopting the IHRA definition.

“The passage of this resolution in Kansas is highly symbolic, especially considering the murderous shooting that took place at the JCC of Greater Kansas City a number of years ago,” said Sacha Roytman Dratwa, CEO of CAM. “That this passed without any opposition speaks volumes about how seriously Kansas is taking the issue of antisemitism.

The aftermath of criminals ransacking a Chabad in Kansas City, Missouri, over Hanukkah. (credit: Rabbi Yitzchak Itkin)The aftermath of criminals ransacking a Chabad in Kansas City, Missouri, over Hanukkah. (credit: Rabbi Yitzchak Itkin)

“As the resolution itself makes clear, the IHRA definition has become the internationally recognized and authoritative definition used by governments, international organizations and educational institutions; and we hope that other American states that have not adopted it yet will do so soon, especially with the worrying increase in antisemitism in the US, CAM will continue to push for this in the US and across the globe,” he said.

Kansas becomes the 20th state to endorse or ratify the definition, either through the passage of laws or gubernatorial proclamations. To coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming all issued proclamations, while the Commonwealth of Virginia issued an executive order to adopt the antisemitism definition.

A recently released study by CAM and the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University showed that 865 entities around the world have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism since 2016. The report is believed to be the world’s most comprehensive list of such adoptions and endorsements.