Blinken: US ‘enthusiastically embraces’ IHRA definition of antisemitism

WASHINGTON – “The Biden Administration enthusiastically embraces the 2016 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism,” says Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The story was first published by the Jewish Insider.Blinken responded to a letter from the American Zionist Movement, whose president, Richard Heideman, wrote to congratulate Blinken after he was sworn in. “AZM also looks forward to continuing to work together with the State Department Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism as well as with the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues,” Heideman wrote in the original letter. AZM shared copies of both letters with The Jerusalem Post.In his letter, Blinken added: “We are eager to work with allies and partners to counter Holocaust distortion and combat antisemitism and other forms of intolerance abroad while we strengthen our efforts at home, including redoubling our efforts to counter violent extremism.”“During my tenure as Secretary, I look forward to working with the American Zionist Movement and other organizations committed to Israel’s security and to strengthening all aspects of the US-Israel partnership, Holocaust remembrance, and countering antisemitism here at home and around the world,” he wrote. “The United States will continue to be a strong partner in fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel, and we will work equally tirelessly to counter attempts to isolate Israel in the international community, as we also work to advance a two-state solution where a Jewish and democratic Israel can live side by side in peace, prosperity, security and freedom with a viable Palestinian state,”  Blinken wrote.He said that, “as the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, I wholeheartedly believe that we must remain vigilant in speaking out against bigotry, intolerance and those who seek to undermine democracy.”“I am most appreciative that Secretary Blinken has so enthusiastically embraced the important and widely accepted working definition of antisemitism, which is a central part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition,” Heideman told the Post.

“This is indeed an important and very significant public declaration, making clear the commitment of the new administration to standing strongly against all forms of antisemitism, intolerance, bigotry and violent extremism,” he said. “We thank the secretary for his clear vision and leadership.”Last month, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald addressed an expert committee meeting on combating antisemitism in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, voicing support for the definition.“We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action,” she said. “That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

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