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Federal Board decision on the re-adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of antisemitism

On Tuesday, the Federal Board of the Liberal Democrats debated the re-adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of antisemitism.  In 2016, Tim Farron MP, then Leader, stated in Parliament that the party had adopted this definition. He also noted the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Antisemitism in the UK. Since then the party has used the IHRA definition in complaints and discipline cases involving antisemitism.  

In coming to that decision, as you would expect, we had an informed debate, looking at the IHRA definition and its worked examples (which you can find here and other papers including the Home Affairs Select Committee 2016 Antisemitism Inquiry Report, as well as receiving papers from the Lib Dem Friends of Israel and the Lib Dem Friends of Palestine. 

The Board agreed that the Liberal Democrats reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation*. In so doing, we confirm our commitment to reject and fight antisemitism both inside and outside the party. We recognise and adopt the 2016 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism in full, including its worked examples.

In this context we also confirmed that Liberal Democrats also believe that freedom of speech is a fundamental right and a key feature of any democratic society and we noted the contents of House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s 2016 report on Antisemitism in the UK in this regard which said: 

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