(December 3, 2020 / JNS) The English Premier League and its clubs adopted on Thursday the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
The announcement follows efforts spearheaded by the U.K. Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism Lord John Mann, who recently signed a letter alongside international counterparts to leading British and European football clubs, urging them to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
The IHRA definition says: “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.”
The league’s executive director, Bill Bush, stated: “The Premier League is committed to tackling any form of discrimination in football. Our adoption of the IHRA’s working definition will enable us to be more effective in dealing with any anti-Semitic behavior targeting our clubs or personnel.”
He went on to say that “the adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism is the latest step in the Premier League’s continued work to ensure that football is a welcoming environment for all.”
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said “the importance of the British Premier League recognizing the most widely used definition of anti-Semitism cannot be overstated.”
“Hundreds of millions of people around the world follow the Premier League’s teams and players,” he continued in a statement. “The impact of [the] decision and its implementation can be extraordinarily helpful in the battle against rising anti-Semitism.”
Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, director of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, said in a statement, “Sport and football, in particular, is a global language that unites millions of people. As the most popular competition in world football, the Premier League is sending a hugely important message to countless fans across the world, that there is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism in today’s world. We hope that it will inspire people to join the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and hatred.”
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