Handbook for the practical use of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism published

Since the adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism in 2016, this practical tool has been used to raise awareness of the various ways antisemitism can manifest itself, helping individuals, organizations and government bodies better identify – and address – antisemitism in their societies. The working definition of antisemitism, adopted by consensus, represents a shared understanding of the key issue of antisemitism among the IHRA’s Member Countries.

The IHRA working definition has since been used in a variety of fields. It features in training programs for police and judges, helps organizations better monitor antisemitic incidents, supports decision-making processes, aids in the identification of aspects of antisemitism, and helps direct funding to civil society and human rights organizations. Despite this significant impact, a compilation of examples of good practice had hitherto been lacking.

New handbook shares good practices of implementation

Today, the European Commission has published, in cooperation with the German Presidency of the IHRA, a Handbook for the Practical Use of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. This Handbook shows how the working definition has been applied in the EU and the United Kingdom by governments and members of civil society. It provides examples of good practices of implementing the working definition in various fields, including law enforcement, the judiciary, education and educational institutions, international and government funding, and civil society.

The Handbook presents the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and relates its guiding examples to the contexts of real-world antisemitic incidents and crimes. It also provides a checklist for using the working definition across different policy areas.

The Handbook was commissioned by the European Commission and the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS) was tasked with compiling the information for the Handbook as well as with drafting it. IHRA experts Mark Weitzman, current Chair of the Museums and Memorials Working Group; Juliane Wetzel, incoming Chair of the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial; and Robert Williams, current Chair of the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, reviewed and also contributed to the project. A truly collaborative effort, the Handbook for the Practical Use of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism represents an important contribution to the implementation of this practical tool.