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Greens consider rejection of IHRA take on anti-semitism

THE Green Party will debate a proposal to reject the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s definition of anti-semitism at its annual conference next week. 

The motion is to be tabled by home affairs spokesman Shahrar Ali. If passed, it will make the Greens the first political party to officially reject the definition, which has been widely criticised for seeking to silence criticism of Israel. 

Ahead of the conference, Mr Shahrar told the Morning Star: “The IHRA definition is rightly controversial as it promotes conflation of legitimate opposition to Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinian people and human rights abuses under international law with unjust allegations of anti-semitism. 

“Greens know it is necessary to fight racism in all its hateful, ignorant forms, including anti-Jewish racism.”

The definition has been adopted by the Labour Party, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, despite concerns over written examples of supposed anti-semitism in the definition – one of which is saying that the creation of Israel was a “racist endeavour.” 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has threatened to withdraw funding from universities if they refuse to adopt the definition. 

Rejecting the definition would “reduce the hostile environment” for members “who want to be able to continue to speak truth to power about Israel,” Mr Ali added.

“At the same time, the whole of civil society must redouble its efforts to combat racism in all its forms, including anti-Jewish racism, but without resort to definitions which would subvert identification of genuine prejudice.”

The conference runs from this weekend to next Sunday.

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