Agenda item

ADOPTION OF IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM BY BRADFORD COUNCIL

To be moved by Councillor David Green

Seconded by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe

 

This Council is concerned by the rise in hate crime and racism across the UK and the wider world. Bradford is rightly proud of its efforts to tackle discrimination in all its forms and as part of this work we believe that we need to build in clearer definitions of what is and isn’t acceptable as part of our Equal Rights Policy, whether this relates to gender, sexuality or discrimination against people on the grounds of race, religion or culture.

 

Bradford Council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK.  As well as physical manifestations through violence and criminal damage it has also been seen in the use of antisemitic tropes in criticism of Israel. It is legitimate to criticise the policies and practices of Israel but not if this involves using tropes and imagery of antisemitism.  

Bradford Council therefore resolves to join with the Government and the major political parties in the UK in signing up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

 

“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, towards Jewish Community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations as including:

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

·         Making mendacious, dehumanising, 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 social 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 (eg 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 as 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, eg by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (eg claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

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

This Council resolves to:

1)    Restate its condemnation of all forms of racism in all its manifestations

2)    Adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism as the working model for challenging and confronting incidents of this form of racism.

3)    Asks the Executive to look to adopt similarly agreed definitions to confront and challenge all forms of racism and discrimination that exist within our society.

 

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.    Bradford Council opposes any form of anti-semitism.  We also oppose racism against all communities, in keeping with our commitment to eradicate all acts of hatred on grounds of faith, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

 

2.    This motion does not constitute a new law, Bradford Council will continue to oppose, challenge and condemn any acts of abuse by the Government of Israel against the Palestinian people and their right to establishing a democratic state.

 

3.    The members of the Jewish community should not be blamed and held responsible for the actions of the Government of Israel.

 

4.    Bradford Council will uphold the rights of the people of Bradford to criticise or challenge the Government of Israel or any other government, for their abuse of basic human and democratic rights.

 

This Council is concerned by the rise in hate crime and racism across the UK and the wider world. Bradford is rightly proud of its efforts to tackle discrimination in all its forms and as part of this work we believe that we need to build in clearer definitions of what is and isn’t acceptable as part of our Equal Rights Policy, whether this relates to gender, sexuality or discrimination against people on the grounds of race, religion or culture.

 

Bradford Council expresses alarm at the rise in anti-semitism in recent years across the UK.  As well as physical manifestations through violence and criminal damage it has also been seen in the use of anti-semitic tropes in criticism of Israel. It is legitimate to criticise the policies and practices of the Israeli Government but not if this involves using tropes and imagery of antisemitism.  

 

Bradford Council therefore resolves to join with the Government and the major political parties in the UK in signing up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

 

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, towards Jewish Community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations as including:

 

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

·         Making mendacious, dehumanising, 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 social 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 (eg 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 as 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, eg by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-semitism (eg claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

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

 

Council further notes:

 

-       This motion does not constitute a law.  We believe that anyone in Bradford District is free to criticise Israeli Government policy and actions in Palestine. Bradford like Britain, is built on free speech and we will always uphold the rights of citizens to engage in reasoned debate.

-       We believe in the right of the Palestinians to self-determination to have their own state.

-       Non-anti-semitic criticism of the policies of the government of Israel is entirely legitimate, as is the case with any country’s government. The right to express such criticism is not restricted by this motion.  We can and will continue to condemn the Israeli government for acts of oppression and breaches of human rights in Palestine. Examples of legitimate criticism which can be made to demonstrate these  points are:

o   When the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem against international consensus, at least 58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in just one day.  The overwhelming majority of those killed were unarmed demonstrators.  We condemn this.

o   Unarmed civilians including medical staff and children from Gaza were shot by Israeli forces in March this year.  We condemn this. 

o   Tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and buildings have been demolished to make way for Israeli settlements through a policy which the United Nations says is in “flagrant” breach of international law.  We condemn this.

o   The decade-long blockade of Gaza has led to the collapse of its economy. On 29th June 2018 the UN said: “Residents are deprived of their most basic rights, including the rights to health, to education, and most recently, in attempting to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, they were deprived of the right to life.”  We condemn this.

o   Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem, is at imminent risk of forcible demolition and transfer after the Israeli High Court of Justice upheld a demolition order for all structures in the community.  We condemn this.

o   The events in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are appalling and of grave concern to the world. The policies of the Israeli government have been condemned by a broad international coalition of countries, including through at least 45 United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions since that body’s creation in 2006.  We add our condemnation to theirs.

-       There is an urgent need for a peaceful resolution which respects the fundamental rights of Palestinians as well as Israeli citizens.

This Council resolves to:

1)    Restate its condemnation of all forms of racism in all its manifestations

2)    Adopt the IHRA definition of anti-semitism as the working model for challenging and confronting incidents of this form of racism.  This is perfectly compatible with criticising the Israeli government.

3)    Uphold the freedom of speech and the right to protest.

4)    All members of the Council to continue to confront and challenge all forms of racism and discrimination that exist within our society.

5)    Broker more opportunities for people of all backgrounds across Bradford District to understand each other’s culture, beliefs and values to grow better understanding.

ACTION:       Chief Executive/(4) All Members of Council

Minutes:

A motion was moved by Councillor Green

 

An amendment, as set out in the resolution below, moved by Councillor Imran Khan was carried.

 

Amendments were also moved by Councillor Love and Councillor Ward.

 

Resolved –

 

1.    Bradford Council opposes any form of anti-semitism.  We also oppose racism against all communities, in keeping with our commitment to eradicate all acts of hatred on grounds of faith, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

 

2.    This motion does not constitute a new law, Bradford Council will continue to oppose, challenge and condemn any acts of abuse by the Government of Israel against the Palestinian people and their right to establishing a democratic state.

 

3.    The members of the Jewish community should not be blamed and held responsible for the actions of the Government of Israel.

 

4.    Bradford Council will uphold the rights of the people of Bradford to criticise or challenge the Government of Israel or any other government, for their abuse of basic human and democratic rights.

 

This Council is concerned by the rise in hate crime and racism across the UK and the wider world. Bradford is rightly proud of its efforts to tackle discrimination in all its forms and as part of this work we believe that we need to build in clearer definitions of what is and isn’t acceptable as part of our Equal Rights Policy, whether this relates to gender, sexuality or discrimination against people on the grounds of race, religion or culture.

 

Bradford Council expresses alarm at the rise in anti-semitism in recent years across the UK.  As well as physical manifestations through violence and criminal damage it has also been seen in the use of anti-semitic tropes in criticism of Israel. It is legitimate to criticise the policies and practices of the Israeli Government but not if this involves using tropes and imagery of antisemitism.  

 

Bradford Council therefore resolves to join with the Government and the major political parties in the UK in signing up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

 

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, towards Jewish Community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations as including:

 

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

·         Making mendacious, dehumanising, 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 social 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 (eg 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 as 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, eg by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-semitism (eg claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

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

 

Council further notes:

 

-       This motion does not constitute a law.  We believe that anyone in Bradford District is free to criticise Israeli Government policy and actions in Palestine. Bradford like Britain, is built on free speech and we will always uphold the rights of citizens to engage in reasoned debate.

-       We believe in the right of the Palestinians to self-determination to have their own state.

-       Non-anti-semitic criticism of the policies of the government of Israel is entirely legitimate, as is the case with any country’s government. The right to express such criticism is not restricted by this motion.  We can and will continue to condemn the Israeli government for acts of oppression and breaches of human rights in Palestine. Examples of legitimate criticism which can be made to demonstrate these  points are:

o   When the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem against international consensus, at least 58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in just one day.  The overwhelming majority of those killed were unarmed demonstrators.  We condemn this.

o   Unarmed civilians including medical staff and children from Gaza were shot by Israeli forces in March this year.  We condemn this. 

o   Tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and buildings have been demolished to make way for Israeli settlements through a policy which the United Nations says is in “flagrant” breach of international law.  We condemn this.

o   The decade-long blockade of Gaza has led to the collapse of its economy. On 29th June 2018 the UN said: “Residents are deprived of their most basic rights, including the rights to health, to education, and most recently, in attempting to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, they were deprived of the right to life.”  We condemn this.

o   Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village near Jerusalem, is at imminent risk of forcible demolition and transfer after the Israeli High Court of Justice upheld a demolition order for all structures in the community.  We condemn this.

o   The events in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are appalling and of grave concern to the world. The policies of the Israeli government have been condemned by a broad international coalition of countries, including through at least 45 United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions since that body’s creation in 2006.  We add our condemnation to theirs.

-       There is an urgent need for a peaceful resolution which respects the fundamental rights of Palestinians as well as Israeli citizens.

This Council resolves to:

1)    Restate its condemnation of all forms of racism in all its manifestations

2)    Adopt the IHRA definition of anti-semitism as the working model for challenging and confronting incidents of this form of racism.  This is perfectly compatible with criticising the Israeli government.

3)    Uphold the freedom of speech and the right to protest.

4)    All members of the Council to continue to confront and challenge all forms of racism and discrimination that exist within our society.

5)    Broker more opportunities for people of all backgrounds across Bradford District to understand each other’s culture, beliefs and values to grow better understanding.

ACTION:       Chief Executive/(4) All Members of Council