ILF leads first-of-its-kind international campaign against antisemitism

“The use of IHRA's definition as a practical legal tool is the key to efficiently fighting rising antisemitism worldwide,” said Yifa Segal of the Forum's work.

THOUSANDS OF New Yorkers gather in Foley Square last week at the No Hate. No Fear. solidarity march against the rise of antisemitism (photo credit: ERIK MCGREGOR/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES/JTA)
THOUSANDS OF New Yorkers gather in Foley Square last week at the No Hate. No Fear. solidarity march against the rise of antisemitism
(photo credit: ERIK MCGREGOR/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES/JTA)
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the International Legal Forum launched a new project to increase the use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitsim and better understand how to use it under the law.

The International Legal Forum combines a legal network of 3,000 lawyers in 30 different countries with the goal of combating terror, antisemitism, and the delegitimization of the State of Israel. 

“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,” according to the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, adopted in 2016. 

Many countries across the globe have adopted the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism. However, this definition doesn’t come with clear instructions on how to sanction or enforce the use of antisemitic comments and actions. 

Because of this, the International Legal Forum has decided to link current legal groundwork in many countries with the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism to be used as an interpretive legal tool. 

“The use of IHRA's definition as a practical legal tool is the key to efficiently fighting rising antisemitism worldwide,” said director of the International Legal Forum Adv. Yifa Segal in a release.

This legal parameter of antisemitism and its new connection to existing laws on discrimination is what the International Legal Forum hopes will help all members of the legal community, from judges to lawyers, to prosecutors, to law-enforcement entities. 

“Hatred of Jews has evolved throughout the ages when it began as hatred of Jews as a religion, to hatred of Jews as a race, and now as hatred of Jews as a people, as a nation," Segal said. "Anti-Israelis is the most modern expression of antisemitism and has succeeded for years to hide behind the mask of legitimate political expression.

“The time has come to move from words to actions, and to arm the legal community with tools to fight antisemitism," she continued.