The American Bar Association will vote on February 6 whether to promote a newly created definition of antisemitism that has been used “consistently (and nearly exclusively) not to fight antisemitism, but rather to defend Israel and harm Palestinians
This has been done “at the cost of undermining and dangerously chilling fundamental rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and protest, and academic freedom
“The ABA’s embrace of the definition would legitimize this infringement on core democratic rights as well as undermine the ABA’s own ability to engage on issues related to Palestinian rights…”
By Alison Weir
For 20 years, Israel and its partisans have worked to embed a newly fabricated, Israel-centric definition of antisemitism in governments and institutions around the world. The latest iteration is known as the IHRA definition.
Now there is an effort to push the American Bar Association to promote this definition to “federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in the United States.”
At its upcoming national meeting (which begins on February 1), delegates will be voting on resolution 514 on Monday, February 6.
Numerous groups have written letters opposing the ABA’s use of this definition, pointing out that it would be used against Palestinian rights, would infringe on freedom of speech, and would interfere with academic freedom.
Israel has a long, thoroughly documented history of violating Palestinian human rights, of an apartheid-like system. and of violent attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. It was founded through a war of ethnic cleansing.
For more information see:
- Human Rights Watch Letter to Co-Sponsors of Proposed ABA Resolution 514 on Antisemitism
- 40+ Civil and Human Rights Groups to ABA: Controversial IHRA Definition Deployed to Target Advocacy for Palestinian Rights Should Have No Part in Resolution on Antisemitism
- International campaign is criminalizing criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitism’
- Timeline for creating new Israel-centric definition of antisemitism
Resolution 514 is co-sponsored by:
Juan Thomas, Chair
Mark Schickman, Senior Advisor
Paula Shapiro, Director
ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice
Hon. Benes Z. Aldana (Ret.), Chair
Skip Harsch, Director
ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Twanda Turner-Hawkins, Chair
Selina Thomas, Director
ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice
Priya Purandare, Executive Director
Navdeep Singh, Interim Policy Director
Wendy Shiba, Past President, ABA Delegate
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
James L. Schwartz, Chair
Richard M. Leslie, Chair-Elect
Jack Young, Delegate
Senior Lawyers Division
Marcos Rios, Chair
David Schwartz, Chair-Elect
Michelle Jacobson, Policy Officer
ABA International Law Section
This is what opponents of Palestinian rights enable:
For a complete list of Palestinians and Israelis killed since 2000, please visit Israel-Palestine Timeline
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.