Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and CIJA applaud adoption of framework to identify, understand, and combat antisemitism
Winnipeg, MB – October 27, 2022 – Today, Manitoba became the sixth Canadian province to adopt or commit to using the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism in its dealing.
The IHRA working definition of antisemitism provides policymakers, law enforcement, and community leaders a tool to identify, understand, and combat contemporary forms of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere. IHRA is the consensus definition of antisemitism that best reflects lived experience of Jews today. Developed by IHRA’s Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, it is grounded in the research of the world’s foremost experts on antisemitism and the Holocaust and is supported by the UN, EU, and 30 countries including the US and Canada. It is also being used by Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick.
“Premier Heather Stefanson’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a clear affirmation of the Manitoba government’s recognition of the surge in hate targeting Jews and the need to counter this rise,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “Defining antisemitism is the first step in recognizing its manifestations, which is key to standing against it. Today, Manitoba joins governments across the country to say that enough is enough. Canadians cannot stand by and allow Jew-hatred to spread unchecked. This is especially important because history has repeatedly demonstrated that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. This is a victory for all who stand against hate – no matter what group is the immediate target.”
As antisemitic incidents in Canada continue to rise, the need to counter them is urgent. The IHRA definition provides a critical framework to guide officials in addressing this rise in hate and discrimination. Manitoba’s organized community representatives, including the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and CIJA, have consistently advocated for the endorsement of the IHRA definition. The adoption of IHRA signals that the Government of Manitoba recognizes the struggle faced by the Jewish community and that they stand in solidarity in the fight against Jew-hatred and all forms of hate.
“Today, Premier Stefanson and the Government of Manitoba sent a strong message that antisemitism has no place in society,” said Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. “To combat antisemitism effectively, it must first be defined. The IHRA definition will help Manitobans identify and combat antisemitism in all its forms. With antisemitic hate crimes on the rise across the country, fighting antisemitism is a priority – not just for the Jewish community, but for all Manitobans and for all Canadians.”
“Our government is proud to stand united with the Jewish community here in Manitoba and around the world,” said the Honourable Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba. “Antisemitism has no place in our communities, and today is an important step forward in our collective commitment to ensure we build an inclusive and safe society, and a future full of hope and opportunity for our future generations.”
While details of the rollout and adoption of the IHRA definition in various applications are still being formalized by the government, the community is encouraged that, through IHRA, Jewish-lived experience will now be reflected in the official understanding of antisemitism.
To learn more about the adoption of IHRA in Manitoba, visit https://news.gov.mb.ca/
The IHRA non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Full details and contemporary examples of antisemitism can be found here.
About the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg acts as the representative body of the Winnipeg Jewish Community, building and sustaining a strong, secure and connected community rooted in Jewish values.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
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