Albania adopts international definition of antisemitism

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Albania adopts international definition of antisemitism

Albania’s parliament - the Kuvendi - passed a resolution on adopting the definition that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance,

Albania's Parliament (Wikipedia/ Author	Kj1595 / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0))
Albania's Parliament (Wikipedia/ Author Kj1595 / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0))

Albania has joined 43 other nations that have officially endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism

The Kuvendi, Albania’s parliament, on Thursday passed a resolution on adopting the definition that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, presented in 2016. Albania is the second Muslim-majority country to do so, following Kosovo’s lead earlier this year.

The vote is “an expression by the Albanian Parliament of the world-renowned feelings and attitudes of the Albanian people for the protection of the Jews as well as a contribution to making Albania a regional leader of the united front in the fight against antisemitism,” a statement on the parliament’s website said.

The IHRA working definition describes various forms of antisemitism, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, sometimes controversially, expressions of criticism of Israel.

Albania, where many residents saved Jews during the Holocaust, is scheduled to host next week an online conference attended by top diplomats from across the Balkans and State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

The definition includes classical forms of “hatred toward Jews,” and its examples section also mentions Israel eight times, listing as examples behaviours such as “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” and “applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is also listed, along with “accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”

IHRA adopted the definition after the European Union in 2012 dropped a similar text that some pro-Palestinian activists protested, citing alleged free speech issues.

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