In December 2016, the Government formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism; the first European Union country to do so.
The definition, although legally non-binding, is an important tool for public bodies to understand how anti-Semitism manifests itself in the 21st century, as it gives examples of the kind of behaviours which depending on the circumstances could constitute anti-Semitism.
The Government stated
“We are well aware that anti-Semitism continues to be a problem in this country. It is therefore right that, as a Government, we are able to demonstrate the seriousness with which we take it, as for all forms of hate crime. Anti-Semitism must be understood for what it is – an attack on the identity of people who live, contribute and are valued in our society.”
The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“In light of this, I would like to take this opportunity to strongly encourage you to formally adopt the definition and consider its application in your own authority.”
The full text of the definition can be downloaded here.
The Official Letter from The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP can be downloaded here.