Luxembourg Holocaust museum scraps controversial debate on defining anti-Semitism


(JTA) — A Holocaust museum in Luxembourg cancelled an debate that critics said was based on the premise that Israel’s supporters are abusing the fight on anti-Semitism to deflect criticism.

The event, titled “Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitism?” was scheduled to take place on Nov. 14 at Luxembourg’s National Museum of Resistance, the RTL broadcaster reported Tuesday. But the museum, which belongs to a local municipality, on Tuesday cancelled the event over concerns “of impartiality”, which the museum said were unfounded. Fränk Schroeder, the museum’s director, said he decided to cancel nonetheless to avoid “polarizing the debate.”

Critics of the event feared the event was framed to discredit the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, according to RTL.

The debate was set to include the Committee for a Just Peace in the Middle East, or CPJPO, which has been vocal opponent of the definition, which it said stifled critical debate about Israel. Critics of the pro-Palestinian group say it is anti-Israel because it supports numerous initiatives to boycott the Jewish state.

CPJPO in a statement accused Bernard Gottlieb, a leader of Luxembourg’s Jewish community, of forcing the museum to cancel the event.

Gottlieb and CPJPO have clashed over the definition in the past.

The 2016 definition, which has been adopted by the European Union, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries and government bodies, lists some forms of vitriol against Israel, including its comparison to Nazi Germany, as examples of anti-Semitism.

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