United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her government will officially adopt a working definition of anti-Semitism, while also saying it was “disgusting” that anti-Semitic views are found in British politics.
“It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. As a government we are making a real difference and adopting this measure is a ground-breaking step,” May said in a private lunch of the Conservative Friends of Israel.
“It means there will be one definition of anti-Semitism – in essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews – and anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”
The working definition of anti-Semitism was developed in May by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental organization backed by 31 countries.
The IHRA defines anti-Semitism as a “certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
In her remarks, May also slammed the Labour Party for the increase in anti-Semitism in its ranks under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who has also been accused of harboring anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views of his own.
A British parliamentary committee report in October had said that Corbyn does not fully comprehend “the distinct nature of contemporary anti-Semitism” and suggested that his party is “institutionally anti-Semitic.”
“It is disgusting that these twisted views are being found in British politics,” May said, adding that “of course, I am talking mainly about the Labour Party and their hard-left allies.”
A spokesman for Corbyn said in a statement that he fully supports the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
“Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party share the view that language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews is anti-Semitism, and is as repugnant and unacceptable as any other form of racism. We agree with the IHRA ‘working definition” of anti-Semitism.