Cyprus adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

Jewish organizations and Israeli officials around spoke out in support of Cyprus' decision.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shake hands during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus February 12, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU)
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shake hands during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus February 12, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU)
Cyprus became the 17the country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
The IHRA definition reads: “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.”
Cyprus' ambassador to Israel, Thessalia Shambos took to Twitter to announce the move on Wednesday afternoon.
"Breaking: #Cyprus becomes today the 17th country to adopt the #IHRA definition of #Antisemitism. The decision reaffirms the firm commitment of [Cyprus] to combat all forms of #AntiSemitism #Cyprus has also applied for observer status in #IHRA #Dutytoremember #Neveragaininaction."

Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus Sammy Revel praised the move, calling it "important."
"Important Cyprus Government decision to adopt @TheIHRA  definition of #Antisemitism. #Israel & #Cyprus work together on #Holocaust remembrance & awareness to combat Antisemitism. The decision is significant in view of threats. We must remember the past to ensure the future."

A flood of support came from Jewish organizations and Israeli organizations and officials. Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz was among those who praised Cyprus' adoption of the IHRA definition.
"I welcome the announcement by the Cypriot government of their adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
It is an important step in the fight against all forms of antisemitism, including anti-Zionism," Katz tweeted.

American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris praised Cyprus in both a statement and a Tweet.
“Governments willing to speak out and take action against the persistent hatred of Jews are essential to effectively combating antisemitism,” Harris said in a statement.
He also made a statement on Twitter, "When we visited Nicosia last month, our friend, Foreign Min. @Christodulides, told us that adopting the #IHRA Working Definition of #Antisemitism was high on the govt’s agenda. Now it’s been done. Once again, #Cyprus has shown its leadership & friendship. Efharisto poli!"
Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, congratulated Cyprus' president and government for adopting the resolution.

The US State Department, Germany, France, Israel and other European nations recognize the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
On December 11, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that calls on government departments that enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.


Tags cyprus