1. Please could you let me know whether your Council has joined over 200 other councils in adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism as requested by the then Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government in January 2017?
2. If so, please could you point me to the decision. If not, please could you let me know if the council leadership (including the Leader and/or Portfolio holder) plan on adopting the definition in the near future.
There are no current plans for the Council to consider the adoption of the definition, however, it is considered a useful point of reference and will be referred to for training and other purposes. The County Council has an Equality Policy, which covers all kinds of unacceptable behaviour; including racist language and the use of anti-Semitic language. We also have an Acceptable Behaviour Policy for employees, Appendix 1 of which, includes a definition of anti-Semitism drawn from the IHRA definition, but simplified for Plain English purposes – extract below:
Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and harassment on basis of religion/belief
As above, negative stereotyping, bullying behaviour, nasty jokes, telling someone they are not welcome here and avoidance on the basis of religion/belief are unacceptable, as they are for other protected characteristics listed in this section. Hate speech attacks, threatens, or insults a person, group or their property on the basis of their identity or perceived identity. Like all forms of hate speech anti-Semitism (relating to Jews) or Islamophobia (relating to Muslims), are offensive and unacceptable. Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism can include:
• Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing, removal or harming of Jews.
• Making false, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews.
• Denying the genocide of the Jewish people during World War II (the Holocaust).
• Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
• Holding Jews collectively or individually responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Devon County Council also supports the Devon and Cornwall Police campaign Zero Tolerance to Hate.