IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

To Fight AntiSemitism, First You Have to Define It
— Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, AJC
On May 26, 2016, the 31 (32 as of 2018, with the addition of Bulgaria) member states of the  International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance  ( IHRA ), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding  IHRA Definition of Antisemitism  at its plenary in Bucharest.

On May 26, 2016, the 31 (32 as of 2018, with the addition of Bulgaria) member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding IHRA Definition of Antisemitism at its plenary in Bucharest.

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, The IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM is:

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.

In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:


  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

  • However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).

Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

European Forum on Antisemitism

The Official Definition of AntiSemitism is available here for download and from our Facebook Page under the Notes Section. Please feel free to download and distribute: PDF Format, JPG Page 1, Page 2, Source: International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

If you are pursuing a definition of Islamophobia, see Columbia Law Review’s


TOward a definition of Antisemitism

January 27-29, 2000, Stockholm

The Stockholm Declaration, a commitment shared by 32 nations to shared principles, was the outcome of the International Forum convened in Stockholm from January 27-29, 2000 by former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, attended by the representatives of 46 governments including 23 Heads of State or Prime Ministers and 14 Deputy Prime Ministers or Ministers.

Their vision of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration has remained intact, unaltered throughout the ensuing years, demonstrating its universal and enduring value. It serves as the basis for the U.S. Department of State and IHRA Definition of Antisemitism.

The Stockholm Declaration states:

The Holocaust (Shoah) fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization. The unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning. After half a century, it remains an event close enough in time that survivors can still bear witness to the horrors that engulfed the Jewish people. The terrible suffering of the many millions of other victims of the Nazis has left an indelible scar across Europe as well.

  1. The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared in our collective memory. The selfless sacrifices of those who defied the Nazis, and sometimes gave their own lives to protect or rescue the Holocaust's victims, must also be inscribed in our hearts. The depths of that horror, and the heights of their heroism, can be touchstones in our understanding of the human capacity for evil and for good.

  2. With humanity still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils. Together we must uphold the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny it. We must strengthen the moral commitment of our peoples, and the political commitment of our governments, to ensure that future generations can understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.

  3. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust, both in those of our countries that have already done much and those that choose to join this effort.

  4. We share a commitment to encourage the study of the Holocaust in all its dimensions. We will promote education about the Holocaust in our schools and universities, in our communities and encourage it in other institutions.

  5. We share a commitment to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who stood against it. We will encourage appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance, including an annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance, in our countries.

  6. We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust. We will take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening of archives in order to ensure that all documents bearing on the Holocaust are available to researchers.

  7. It is appropriate that this, the first major international conference of the new millenium, declares its commitment to plant the seeds of a better future amidst the soil of a bitter past. We empathize with the victims' suffering and draw inspiration from their struggle. Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.

July 8, 2010, USA

The U.S. Department of State adopted on July 8, 2010 a working definition, along with examples, of Antisemitism. The U.S. Department of State adopted the IHRA working definition of Antisemitism in 2016, which is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition. Definition of Antisemitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia

May 26, 2016, Bucharest

On May 26, 2016, the 31 (32 as of 2018, with the addition of Bulgaria) member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding Working Definition of Antisemitism at its plenary in Bucharest. As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well. This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an alliance which unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance and to uphold the commitments shared by 32 nations to the principles of The Stockholm Declaration.


IHRA Timeline

Codifying an official Definition of Antisemitism


The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is established in Stockholm by then Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson.


The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust is attended by representatives of 46 governments resulting in the creation of the Stockholm Declaration.


The Education Working Group begins drafting educational guidelines on ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ to teach about the Holocaust.


The UN adopts 27 January as ‘International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust’ and commends the IHRA for its work.


The IHRA Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer addresses the UN General Assembly on 27 January.


The decision is made to open the International Tracing Service(ITS) archive following a campaign in which the IHRA was involved.


The IHRA Permanent Office is established in Berlin. The decision was made to establish a committee on antisemitism and Holocaust denial.


The guidelines ‘The Holocaust and Other Genocides’ are adopted. The IHRA signs a Memorandum of Understanding with OSCE/ODHIR and with the Council of Europe .


The IHRA implements a Multi-Year Work Plan  -  four long-term projects focusing on key Holocaust-related issues. A country reporting and peer review system is established…


The IHRA adopts the International Memorial Museums Charter.


The Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research changes its name to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.


The IHRA adopts the Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion.


The first IHRA conference on the topic of the genocide of the Roma is held in London.


IHRA publishes Social Media guidelines outlining considerations and practices in deploying social media in the Holocaust educational environment.


The IHRA issues its first academic publication ‘Killing Sites — Research and Remembrance.’ The Vatican appoints a permanent liaison person for IHRA issues.


The IHRA issues its second academic publication "Bystanders, Rescuers or Perpetrators? The Neutral Countries and the Shoah".


The IHRA adopts a working definition of antisemitism.


A specific reference to the Holocaust was included within the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) following IHRA efforts.


The IHRA issues the third publication in its academic publication series "Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: A Dialogue Beyond Borders".


The IHRA held its first ever seminar focused on teaching and learning about the Holocaust and related issues in El Salvador, an IHRA Observer Country.


In cooperation with the Holy See, the IHRA organized the two-day conference on “Refugee Policies from 1933 until Today: Challenges and Responsibilities”.


The IHRA issues the fourth publication in its academic publication series "Refugee Policies from 1933 until Today: Challenges and Responsibilities".