Thank King County Council for denouncing antisemitism and removing IHRA!
Thanks to YOU and many community members who took action, King County Council removed the problematic International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism from the proclamation denouncing antisemitism that it issued on January 31, 2023! All nine councilmembers signed that proclamation, put forth by the chair. While the proclamation does reference the Puget Sound Jewish Community Statement on Antisemitism (which itself includes the IHRA definition), the proclamation does NOT adopt the IHRA definition or the Puget Sound Jewish Community Statement in any way. This is a WIN!
Part of our larger victory came through the many conversations we and others (including some of you!) had with councilmembers, which deepened their understanding of antisemitism, the dangers of the IHRA definition, what is happening in Israel/Palestine, and free speech. Some councilmembers even told us about the independent research they did which helped them understand the issues, which we appreciate. We will continue to remain engaged to provide further education on antisemitism and ensure the IHRA definition does not inform legal or policy decisions or become adopted by other jurisdictions. If you haven’t seen these yet, please do read our talking points on the dangers of the IHRA definition and this op-ed by University of Washington Distinguished Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies Liora Halperin, which provides a personal story of the perils of the IHRA conflation of criticism of the State of Israel with antisemitism.
Please join us in expressing gratitude to the King County Council, especially because they faced a LOT of pressure to include the IHRA definition in their proclamation. Your messages made a significant difference and they need to hear from you again now! You can send a thank-you letter using this form – feel free to personalize as you wish!
King County Jews Against Antisemitism