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Virginia, Newfoundland and Labrador adopt IHRA antisemitism definition

“We can clearly define hate, which is exactly what this bill does,” said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Table Mountain in Newfoundland, Canada. Credit: Tango7174 via Wikimedia Commons.
Table Mountain in Newfoundland, Canada. Credit: Tango7174 via Wikimedia Commons.

Virginia has passed a new law embracing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, joining 29 other states in America to do so.

Newfoundland and Labrador, the most easterly province of Canada, also adopted the IHRA’s definition, becoming the sixth province to do so.

On May 8, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the bill that made the IHRA’s definition an educational tool in the battle against the rising Jew-hatred in America.

Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares had previously visited Auschwitz this year and said, “It is up to us, the living, to remember the legacy of the past and to remember, indeed, the horrors of what came before us.”

B’nai B’rith put out a statement saying, “We hope other state governments will follow Virginia’s example, as a commonly accepted definition of antisemitism is vital so that all levels of society can recognize the problem and take steps to combat it.”

Rabbi Eric Fusfield, B’nai B’rith director of legislative affairs, had advised on the bill as part of the commission that recommended the definition and was present at its signing.

Michael Levitt, the president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), said the similar decision by Newfoundland and Labrador demonstrated that the Canadian provincial government sends “a strong message that it is an ally of the Jewish community … and is committed to confronting antisemitism in all its forms.”

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