“The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance(IHRA) unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance and to uphold the commitments
to the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. The IHRA (formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, or ITF) was initiated in 1998 by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Today the IHRA’s membership consists of 34 member
countries, each of whom recognizes that international political coordination is imperative to strengthen the moral commitment of societies and to combat growing Holocaust denial and antisemitism. The
IHRA’s network of trusted experts share their knowledge on early warning signs of present-day genocide and education on the Holocaust. This knowledge supports policymakers and educational multipliers in
their efforts to develop effective curricula, and it informs government officials and NGOs active in global initiatives for genocide prevention.”
A podcast featuring the professors Peter Beinart, Nadia Abu El-Haj and Rashid Khalidi addressed a document titled “Occupied Thoughts: A Palestinian View on Antisemitism,” produced by Palestinian and Arab writers, none identified. The document appears to articulate a critique of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism(IHRAWDOA) that says among other things that it is antisemitism to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
The three claimed the IHRAWDOA to be, in effect, an extremist Israeli panic reaction to the support that the Palestinian cause has been receiving from students on American college campuses. It does seem a highly puzzling assertion, as is the related allegation that Gilad Erdan of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy may have played a crucial role in the drafting of the IHRAWDOA. No evidence was offered to support either of these claims.
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York;
Nadia Abu El-Haj is Ann Olin Whitney Professor in the Departments of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University, Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies, and Chair of the Board of Directors, The Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia;
Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.
In Canada, the New Democratic Party has alleged that the IHRA definition of antisemitism has been used to silence criticism of Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. One is left to wonder where that silence is to be found.