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Israel will serve as President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for 2025, a year marking 80 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the end of the Second World War.

“The State of Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yad Vashem are committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to the fight against antisemitism,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday. “As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I see it as a personal privilege and duty to continue the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust and the constant fight against antisemitism wherever it rears its head.”

Israel was unanimously elected to the body’s presidency at IHRA’s annual plenary session in Stockholm, Sweden.

The country elected as President hosts the IHRA plenary meetings up to twice a year. The plenary is the official decision-making body of the IHRA, made up of member country delegation heads, and is responsible for adopting recommendations and decisions made by IHRA experts.

Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, who presented Israel’s candidacy at the Stockholm plenum, remarked that “the activities of the IHRA are of growing importance and significance during this period in which we are witnessing the alarming phenomena of Holocaust distortion and antisemitism in various parts of the world.”

“The acceptance of our candidacy to lead the IHRA strengthens our ability to act in this realm more vigorously,” Dayan said.

On Wednesday, Israel announced the adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, which Speaker of the Knesset Mickey Levy called a “historic decision.”

According to the IHRA definition, which has been adopted by 35 countries, “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.”

Its guidelines add that “manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” while noting that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

“The Knesset as the house of representatives of the Jewish people is committed to fighting antisemitism in all its ugly forms,” Levy said on Wednesday. “This includes Holocaust denial and distortion, denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination as well as antisemitic expressions hidden under the guise of criticism of Israel.”

He called on more parliaments around the world to follow suit and adopt the IHRA definition to “prevent this ugly phenomenon from spreading.”

Source of original article: World – Algemeiner.com (www.algemeiner.com).
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