The London Assembly has unanimously voted to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism. The definition was adopted by the Prime Minister in December, making the British government the first in the world to formally adopt the definition, something Campaign Against Antisemitism worked hard to achieve over many meetings. At the time, we also recognised the significant contribution of Sir Eric Pickles to the result.
The International Definition of Antisemitism is clear and detailed, leaving no doubt as to what antisemitism is. In particular, this definition tackles the full spectrum of antisemitism, from ancient slurs to conspiracy myths to antisemitism in discourse about Israel.
Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore proposed the motion, saying: “The recent rise in antisemitism is utterly obscene. We have a large Jewish population in London and they, like everybody else, should be protected from the words and actions of the intolerant and ignorant…In recent months we’ve seen Jewish people, and their properties, become the target for acts of hatred. If we’re to weed out antisemitism, we need to be clear about the challenge on our hands. These guidelines leave no room for doubt about the many ways in which antisemitism manifests itself. By adopting them we’re issuing a warning that any expression of antisemitism will not be tolerated. While it is vital the Assembly responds quickly and unequivocally to recent events, this motion goes beyond expressing alarm: we must take action to stamp out this despicable behaviour and we must take it now.” The motion was seconded by Conservative Assembly Member Gareth Bacon.
Throughout his career, Andrew Dismore has shown himself to be a true friend to the Jewish people of London and we are extremely grateful to him and his colleagues for taking this step.