ZOA Is Proud of Working with Broward County to Adopt the IHRA Antisemitism Definition
ZOA Florida commends the Broward County Commission (Commission) for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism at its meeting on September 20, 2022. In March 2022, ZOA Florida urged the Commission to pass an ordinance that would require consideration of the IHRA definition in investigations of violations of law, for the purpose of determining whether the alleged violation was motivated by intent to commit a bias-motivated crime. At its September 20th meeting, the Commission adopted the proposed ordinance by unanimous vote.
The IHRA definition includes a core description of antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” Importantly, the definition also includes contemporary examples of antisemitism, including when anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism may be masking antisemitism. Broward County joins the State of Florida, and a growing number of other Florida cities, towns, and counties in adopting the IHRA definition. The definition is also gaining international acceptance.
Mayor Michael Udine’s statement on Broward County Adopting IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism: “This was the right thing to do, as there’s been a global increase in antisemitism and Broward County is home to the largest Jewish population in the state. Defining antisemitism with contemporary examples is an important step in making our communities more aware of the problem and making them safer. I thank the Zionist Organization of America for proposing this initiative.”
Commissioner Steve Geller’s Statement on Broward County Adopting IHRA Definition of Antisemitism: “Jews and Jewish communities are consistently the victims of more hate crimes than any other religious group. With the third largest population of Holocaust survivors in the world, Broward County must make fighting antisemitism a top priority so that our community remains a safe and welcoming place. Thank you to ZOA for bringing this initiative to my attention.”
ZOA Florida Exec. Dir. Sharona Whisler’s Statement on Broward County Adopting IHRA: “Jew-hatred has taken multiple forms over the generations, and now it is often expressed by demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state of Israel. The IHRA working definition of antisemitism is a powerful tool to understanding how antisemitism is expressed today, so that we can fight this ugly bigotry more effectively.
“I am proud to live in Broward County, with leaders who take Jew-hatred seriously and are determined to combat it in all its forms. I hope that Broward County will serve as a model for other Florida counties and municipalities. The ZOA thanks Commissioner Geller (sponsor), Mayor Udine (co-sponsor), and the entire Broward County Commission for passing this ordinance and demonstrating that Broward County will not tolerate antisemitism in any form, including when it relates to Israel.”
Israeli Consul Gen. Elbaz Starinsky’s Statement: “Fighting against antisemitism is everyone’s duty. Holocaust survivors and their stories are a living testament to where such hate and racism can lead. Though the IHRA definition serves as the gold standard in this effort, it’s only the beginning of it. This uphill battle should be carried out decisively on all levels.”