Standing With The Jewish Community Against Antisemitism

12th May 2022

The Andrews Labor Government will continue to protect the fundamental right of Jewish people to live, work and worship free from prejudice or hate by adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Antisemitism has no place in Victoria – nor does any act with the intention of spreading fear or hate.

The IHRA definition provides an essential tool for all Victorians to understand what constitutes antisemitism – because this is not a problem for the Jewish community alone.

Adopting the IHRA definition will provide a stronger foundation to protect Jewish Victorians and help inform future policy and legislative changes that defend against the scourge of antisemitism in our state.

The definition states:

“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.”

The definition was established in 2016 by IHRA in response to increased antisemitic sentiments and incidents worldwide. It has since been adopted by 34 United Nations member states.

Adopting the definition does not change any current legislation. It complements the Labor Government’s broader work to tackle racism and other forms of faith-based discrimination, including the development of an Anti-Racism Strategy and reforms to strengthen anti-vilification protections.

It also builds on the Labor Government’s recent work to specifically combat antisemitism, including the establishment a student group to advise on antisemitism in schools and the expansion of a Holocaust education program in government secondary schools.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Our Jewish community has made, and continues to make, a profound contribution to Victoria. Antisemitism hurts the Jewish community deeply, and it offends all of us.”

“From attempting to water down the horrors of the Holocaust or denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination – adopting this definition ensures that Jewish history can never be rewritten or diminished.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence

“We do not tolerate racial or faith-based discrimination in any form in our community – this is another important step forward in rejecting hateful speech and behaviour in Victoria.”