Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism ignores Palestinian rights, narrative

Protesters outside the Labour party headquarters in London, Sept. 2018
A new, “improved” definition of antisemitism still fails to acknowledge the history of Palestinian dispossession.

By Kathryn Shihadah |  If Americans Knew/ Israel-Palestine News | Aug 14, 2021

Proponents of justice and racial equality would do well to remember that while anti-Semitism has its victims, Zionism in the last half century arguably has had more…

The Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism (JDA) was released in March as a progressive variant of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition” of anti-Semitism – a definition that, despite its wide acceptance, is deeply problematic.

Progressives agree that JDA is a huge improvement over IHRA. JDA acknowledges that support for the Palestinian cause is “not on the face of it” antisemitic; it also leaves room for opposition to Zionism, criticism of Israel (including use of the word “apartheid,” or a “double standard” framing), and even the BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) movement.

But while it makes these allowances, the parameters the Jerusalem Declaration sets for that debate leave much to be desired. Many Palestinian individuals and organizations and others have published objections, some of which are referenced below (specifically, Mark Mohannad Ayyesh, writing for Al Jazeera news network, and Samer Abdelnour, writing for Al Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network.

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