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International work

We are a proud member of the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). With 31 member countries from around the world, IHRA works to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance.

We work alongside experts in the field of Holocaust remembrance and education, who together form the UK delegation to IHRA. The delegation is led by Lord Pickles – the UK’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, and HMDT’s Honorary Vice President.

The national government of each member country forms a delegation, generally consisting of leading educators, academics and representatives of museums and memorials. The Chairmanship of the IHRA is held each year by a different member country on a voluntary basis, which hosts two plenary meetings in their country. 

Find out more about IHRA here.

IHRA Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

Olivia Marks-Woldman, UK IHRA Delegation, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism, and HE Sandro De Bernardin, Head of the Italian Delegation to the IHRA at the Sofia Synagogue.

Our Chief Executive, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, sits on the Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. The committee shares IHRA expertise on the Holocaust with those active in preventing and combatting genocide and crimes against humanity.

As with other IHRA committees, the committee brings together experts from a range of professional backgrounds and countries to recommend multidisciplinary solutions to persistent challenges.

Olivia is also a member of the Museums and Memorials Working Group.

You can find out more about IHRA’s structure here. 

IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism

HMDT endorses and promotes the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. This definition was adopted in May 2016 and was the product of an international effort to define antisemitism (anti-Jewish hatred) and provide illustrative examples. The definition has been adopted by the UK Government, public bodies, religious groups and many councils across the UK.

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.

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).

Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

Read more about IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism here.