The chilling repercussions of the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism have been revealed in a recent report by the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC). Titled “Suppressing Palestinian Rights Advocacy through the IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism”, the report by the independent Dutch-based organisation uncovered shocking examples of the IHRA’s weaponisation against critics of Israel and the suppression of free speech under the guise of combatting anti-Semitism.
Using dozens of case studies from across Europe, ELSC showed that the endorsement, adoption and implementation of the IHRA in the European Union, its member states and the UK, has led to widespread restrictions of the right of assembly and freedom of expression. Despite strong opposition and warning against its adoption by Jewish groups, experts on anti-Semitism, academics and activists, the controversial definition has been implemented by public and private bodies as if the IHRA is legally binding. Despite qualification by advocates of the IHRA that it is “non-legally binding”, a definition of anti-Semitism which conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish racism has been placed at the centre of regulatory frameworks across Europe.