Britain to consider introducing official definition of ‘anti-semitism’

The British Prime Minister believes the measure can be a "ground-breaking step" in the fight to tackle rising anti-Jewish attacks

Britain to consider introducing official definition of ‘anti-semitism’

Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth PA Wire/PA Images

The British Prime Minister intends to tackle hatred against Jewish people by introducing an official definition of anti-Semitism.

Theresa May is hoping the move will stop culprits getting away with anti-Semitic behaviour or language on the basis that, “the term is ill defined."

Mrs May believes the measure can be a "ground-breaking step" in the fight to tackle rising anti-Jewish attacks.

In a speech in London, Mrs May is due to say: "It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a Government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a ground-breaking step.”

"It means there will be one definition of anti-Semitism - in essence, language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it."

The Government is adopting a charity's analysis of what constitutes abuse.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) is an intergovernmental organisation backed by 31 countries. It agreed a definition earlier this year and it hopes it will become widely adopted globally.

It states: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

Mrs May will also praise Israel for guaranteeing the rights of "people of all religions, races and sexualities" and say the Jewish state wants to "enable everyone to flourish".

The Labour party has also been hit by accusations it has failed to tackle anti-Semitism within its ranks.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said he agreed with the IHRA definition.

He said: "Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party share the view that language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews is anti-Semitism, and is as repugnant and unacceptable as any other form of racism.''

He added: "Jeremy has consistently spoken out against all forms of anti-Semitism and condemned all anti-Semitic abuse, and set up the Charkrabarti inquiry into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism."