The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has applauded NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet for announcing today that the NSW Government will embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of antisemitism.

December 16, 2021

This follows the emphatic support for the definition amidst calls from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and other bodies for the State government and other organisations to endorse the IHRA definition.

This announcement by the Premier will make NSW the first state or territory in Australia to officially adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

“We would like to thank the NSW Premier for championing this cause and are proud to see that the fight against antisemitism is a priority for the NSW government, particularly in light of recent increases in antisemitic incidents,” Board of Deputies President Lesli Berger said.

Identifying and describing antisemitism is the first step in combatting anti-Semitic behaviour. The IHRA definition does just that – it provides clear examples of antisemitism to educate and guide community action against it,” Berger added.

“Combatting antisemitism is not just the responsibility of the Jewish community, it takes leadership from every public figure, which is why we are so grateful to the Premier, and the NSW Government for leading the way amongst state governments,” Board of Deputies Chief Executive Officer Darren Bark added.

“Every tool that is available to stamp out the scourge of hate speech and racism should be used before speech manifests into something more dangerous,” Bark concluded.

The Premier’s statement:

The recent festival of Chanukah reminds us of the triumph of light over darkness.

It’s a time of joy, but it’s so much more.

It’s also a reminder of the dangers of racism, bigotry and hate speech.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many challenges.

One of those has been in the fight against racism towards many groups, both at home and across the globe.

Antisemitism is one of the oldest forms of racism. Sadly, no place in the world is immune from its scourge.

Yet there is no place for it anywhere in the world, especially not in NSW.

It goes against everything our proud, strong, multicultural state stands for.

The hate must stop here.

Today I’m proud to announce that the NSW Government will join our federal colleagues in embracing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.

To fight something, you need to be able to identify it.

To be able to describe it.

To name it.

A definition is an essential and important tool.

It’s a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism is a step in the right direction.

This follows the important work of the Jewish community, including the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and other community leaders.

I’d also like to acknowledge Minister Natalie Ward and Scott Farlow MLC, who have not only been tireless advocates for this cause, but fierce opponents of discrimination in any form.

We hear the Jewish community, and today we stand with them in the fight against antisemitism.

This definition will make a difference. It will help people call out antisemitism wherever it hides.

On social media.

On educational campuses.

On the streets of NSW.

Embracing this definition is an important step to ensure our peaceful, vibrant, multicultural society remains just that.

Because ultimately, this is about being Australian and about ensuring NSW remains the best place to live – for everyone.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance 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.”