New South Wales has become the first state or territory in Australia to officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, saying it is following in the footsteps of the federal government, which adopted the IHRA definition in October.
“To fight something, you need to be able to identify it, to be able to describe it, to name it,” he said. “A definition is an essential and important tool. It’s a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight.”
Perrottet also said antisemitism “goes against everything our proud, strong, multicultural state stands for.”
“We hear the Jewish community, and today we stand with them in the fight against antisemitism. This definition will make a difference. It will help people call out antisemitism wherever it hides – on social media, on educational campuses [and] on the streets of New South Wales. Embracing this definition is an important step to ensure our peaceful, vibrant, multicultural society remains just that.”
Following the announcement, New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark said the organization is “grateful” to Perrottet and the government “for leading the way amongst state governments.”
He said that “every tool that is available to stamp out the scourge of hate speech and racism should be used before speech manifests into something more dangerous.”
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), which is the federal body representing Jewish students on university campuses in Australia and New Zealand, said adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a “significant step for Jewish students” across New South Wales.
Its political affairs director Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps said, “antisemitism, particularly on our university campuses, has increased this year and the definition plays an important role in helping communities, institutions and individuals identify and call out antisemitism,” as reported by The Australian Jewish News.
Reprinted with permission from JNS.org.
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