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Carwyn Jones, First Minister

First published:
17 October 2018
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On 16 May 2017, I announced that the Welsh Government had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition. I think it is important to confirm that, in adopting the IHRA definition, we included the 11 examples from the outset, in full and without qualification. I also want to provide an update on the actions we have taken in the past year to demonstrate the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling antisemitism.

The IHRA definition is as follows:

“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.”

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

I want to make it absolutely clear that antisemitism in any form will not be tolerated.

The IHRA definition, including the eleven examples, will help all organisations and bodies in Wales to understand and recognise contemporary antisemitism. This will help to ensure that fewer perpetrators get away with being antisemitic. The 4 police forces in Wales are already using the definition.  

To further embed the use of the definition within Welsh Government and to encourage its adoption and use by key partners, we have:  

  • arranged training about anti-Semitism for Welsh Government officials, principally for those working in roles relating to equality and community cohesion.  This training was delivered by an experienced equality trainer with long personal involvement with the Jewish community in Cardiff.  The training, which has also been offered to external stakeholders, included a focus on the IHRA definition of antisemitism;
  • arranged for a Holocaust survivor with strong Welsh connections, to give a talk to Welsh Government officials on 25th September 2018.  This arises from the work in Wales of the Holocaust Education Trust, which is supported by the Welsh Government;
  • ensured that our work in tackling hate crime includes a clear focus on antisemitism. This work is co-ordinated by our Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board which had a full discussion on antisemitic hate crime in April 2017, including a presentation from the Community Security Trust, a charity which provides advice and protection for Jewish communities in the UK. The Board noted Welsh Government’s decision to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism and encouraged partners to include messages against antisemitism, both during Hate Crime Week and in their year-round communications. For example, the Welsh Government used Twitter to draw attention to the IHRA definition during Equalities Week 2017;
  • worked with Victim Support Cymru, who manage the All Wales Hate Crimes and Incidents Reporting Centre, which is funded by the Welsh Government, to ensure that their recording system is able to flag antisemitic hate crimes and incidents.

The Welsh Government is committed to encouraging victims of antisemitism to report it.  We are working hard with our partners to protect and support victims of antisemitic abuse and violence and hold perpetrators to account.

The Welsh Government is determined to ensure that Wales continues to be a friendly and tolerant place to live, study and work; a country where antisemitism has no place.

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