Vancouver on Nov. 16 became the latest Canadian city to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which recognizes forms of anti-Zionism that constitute antisemitism.

“We are proud to stand with the Jewish community both in Vancouver and around the world. Antisemitism has no place in our city and today we take an important step towards a more inclusive and safe society for all,” Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim said on Twitter.

CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver Ezra Shaken tweeted, “Yes! Yes! Yes! We did it! I am elated to see the Vancouver City Council adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”

According to the B’nai Brith Canada Annual Audit of Antisemitism, incidents of Jew-hatred in British Columbia and the Yukon, an area that includes Vancouver, rose more than 14% from 2020 to 2021.

The Federation as well as the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs posted links to an online thank you letter, urging people to email it to the mayor and city council.

“In doing this, Vancouver City Council has shown its commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community in the fight against Jew-hatred,” the letter states. “I am grateful that the IHRA definition will be used by the municipal government to help determine what is and what is not antisemitism and that it will inform policies and actions in support of Vancouver’s vibrant Jewish minority.”

The Canadian provinces of Manitoba and New Brunswick also recently passed measures to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.


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