Last week, a group of scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies and Middle East studies published the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA). It has more than 200 signatories.
Yet, while the declaration is a positive addition to the growing international rejection of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism, it fails to identify the crux of the current impasse we find ourselves in.
The IHRA definition, as the JDA points out, is - at best - a blunt tool in the struggle against anti-Jewish racism. Instead, its principal aim has been to conflate criticism of Israel and Zionism with antisemitism, and, in so doing, to repress the historical facts of Palestinian dispossession, displacement and oppression.
Policing the types of value judgements that are considered acceptable when debating historical facts can easily become a way to police the facts altogether. When the IHRA working definition argues that describing Israel as a “racist endeavour” is antisemitic, it delegitimises, by extension, discussion of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
In failing to recognise this fundamental issue, the JDA ends up replicating some of the same problems. The declaration bills itself as a conscious response to the IHRA definition, which was “unclear in key respects and widely open to different interpretations”. As a result, the definition “has caused confusion and generated controversy, hence weakening the fight against antisemitism”.
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that European Union countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, MEMO and EuroPal Forum are hosting a conference to discuss the EU’s position on major issues related to the occupat