Paris City Council adopts IHRA definition of anti-Semitism


(JTA) — The City Council of Paris endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism on Friday, becoming the first capital city in the world outside Israel to do so officially, according to a statement by the Israeli Embassy in France.

Only a few of the 163 delegates objected in the vote by a show of hands to the resolution.

Hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents occur annually in Paris.

The definition has been a source of ongoing debate in the United States and beyond.

Its text lists as examples of anti-Semitism classic tropes alongside some forms of vitriol against Israel, including comparing its policies to Nazi Germany and “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.”

The definition also states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

Critics, including many pro-Palestinian activists, cite freedom of speech concerns.

In 2019, the French parliament’s lower house passed a resolution endorsing the IHRA definition following acrimonious debates.

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Romania, Canada and Australia are among the dozens of governments that have adopted the IHRA definition.

Recommended from JTA