The Quebec government has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism last Wednesday, joining some 40 sister democracies around the world and hundreds of local governments and institutions. The City of Montreal has still not adopted the definition.
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Anti-Racism Minister Benoît Charette told the National Assembly that more than 75 years after the end of the Holocaust, “anti-Semitism remains present in our society. The violence, threats and attacks suffered by the Quebec Jewish community have deplorably increased in recent weeks, both in our cities and on social networks,” Charette added. “It is our duty to take all possible means to combat anti-Semitism. This is why the Government of Quebec is joining the renewed international effort by adopting [the definition], as many countries, parliaments and international organizations have done.”
Federation CJA and CIJA Quebec welcomed the resolution, which followed the May 26 unanimous National Assembly motion condemning the anti-Semitic incidents that took place in Montreal during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Today, the Minister responsible for the Fight Against Racism, Benoit Charette, and the Government of Quebec have taken a concrete step forward in the fight against anti-Semitism,” said Eta Yudin, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Vice President, Quebec. “The adoption of the IHRA definition is a clear affirmation of our elected officials’ recognition of the seriousness of the upsurge in hate targeting Jews and of the need for concrete action to counter this rise. We applaud Minister Charette and the government for their leadership in the fight against Jew-hatred, an issue that concerns all Quebecers.”
Yair Szlak, CEO of Federation CJA, said the adoption of the IHRA definition is an “important step in the fight against anti-Semitism in Quebec and throughout the world. Our public authorities will now be able to rely upon a tool that enables them to clearly define anti-Semitic incidents in Quebec. The Jewish community salutes the commitment and foresight of the Government of Quebec in the fight against anti-Semitism, a fight that concerns Quebecers of every stripe.”