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Netherlands Struggle against Antisemitism

PvdA embraces IHRA working definition of antisemitism

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Source: CIDI

Positive news: the Dutch Partij van de Arbeid embraces the IHRA definition. In a statement regarding its commitment to battle antisemitism more intensively, the party declares its endorsement of the working definition.

The PvdA has published a statement on its website: we must put on a fiercer fight against the rise of antisemitism . In so stating, the workers’ party recognizes that several sister parties in neighboring countries – partly in response to the European Commission’s call – already apply the IHRA definition.

The party also said that it had partaken in “intensive discussions” with the Dutch Jewish community. The PvdA has subsequently decided to endorse the IHRA definition.

Previously, the PvdA was still against the use of the IHRA definition. In parliamentary questions, MP Kirsten van den Hul expressed her concerns that the definition would be restricting freedom of expression. Votes that the Dutch Cabinet introduced regarding the adoption of the IHRA working definition could not therefore count on the support of the workers’ party.

The PvdA, however, has come to regret its stance and now realizes that the IHRA definition is a useful tool for recognizing antisemitism and for tackling it effectively. In the statement, therefore, the party recognizes that subscribing to the definition “is part of an effective approach to contemporary antisemitism.”

The (unjustified) fear that the definition would restrict freedom of expression is no longer an issue with the Dutch Party of Labor. “In no way can it be seen as a political device to restrict freedom of expression. After all, the resolution is not legally binding either. “

“For the PvdA, it goes without saying that everyone is free to criticize the policies of every State, including those of the state of Israel. “And so it is. The definition does not in any way attempt to limit serious criticism of the state of Israel. That criticism of Israel is not antisemitic is in effect stated in the definition: “criticism of Israel that is comparable to criticism of any another country cannot be considered antisemitic per se.”