State Department Expands Anti-Semitism Guidance to Include Nazi References

Jews - A man walks by graves vandalised with swastikas at the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, on February 19, 2019, on the day of a nationwide marches against a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. - Around 80 graves have been vandalised at the Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close …

The United States State Department has expanded what the agency considers to be antisemitic rhetoric in the wake of increasing cases of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment, including from some lawmakers. 

State’s Office of International Religious Freedom’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism created the “Defining Anti-Semitism” guidance in 2010 and in 2016: “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest.”

Fox News reported that the list of antisemitic examples now includes “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

“Kudos to @SecPompeo and Special Envoy Elan Carr,” Adam Milstein, a philanthropist and co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “It’s more clear now, the BDS Movement is disgustingly Antisemitic.”

BDS refers to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to withdraw financial support for Israel as punishment for the alleged mistreatment of the Palestinian people.

“The State Department revision follows last month’s overwhelming bipartisan 398-17 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose an international effort to boycott Israel,” Fox reported.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has made numerous antisemitic remarks on social media and elsewhere, was one of 17 dissenting votes and introduced her own resolution that said she supports boycotts “to advocate for human rights abroad,” and cited boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

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