The CUNY University Student Senate (USS) is considering a resolution to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. This is a common-sense measure that we can take IMMEDIATELY to protect the CUNY Jewish community, but some campus groups are spreading misinformation about the resolution in an attempt to derail its passage. We must not fall victim to the misleading claims of fringe groups on campus. We must ACT to ensure that this resolution passes without delay.
Some students on campus are attacking the IHRA definition of antisemitism, falsely claiming that the definition has been “widely condemned” and that it has been used to “chill” free speech. This is untrue. The IHRA definition is widely accepted and celebrated for the clear outline it provides to identify what antisemitism looks like today. Over 30 world nations including the United States, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France have already adopted it.
Countless and diverse groups and organizations have followed their lead. Earlier this year, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a coalition of over 50 divergent Jewish organizations, adopted the definition. That same month, five major German corporations issued a statement endorsing the definition. American universities ranging from Syracuse University to the University of Texas have adopted the definition. 1 in 5 British universities have adopted the definition. More than 145 non-governmental organizations (NGO) from around the world have joined the “Adopt IHRA Coalition.” The only thing all of these groups have in common is a commitment to understanding, identifying, and eradicating modern manifestations of antisemitism. It’s time CUNY joined their ranks.
The students trying to demonize the IHRA definition in the eyes of the campus community are out of step with the world community. These students have such hubris that they have presented their own definition of antisemitism as an alternative to the IHRA definition as if they know better than all of the world governments, industry leaders, and academic institutions who have already adopted it.
Antisemitism is real, it is prevalent, and it must be stopped. The IHRA definition of antisemitism will arm CUNY with the tools we need to protect our Jewish community from hate and discrimination according to their lived experiences. Do not let distraction tactics from a fringe element on campus distract from the task at hand. Sign the petition to END ANTISEMITISM on campus.