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By: Gerald M. Steinberg

(Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, Vol. 5.2, Fall 2022, DOI: 10.26613/jca/5.2.116)

The Central Political Role of German Left Actors in the Campaign to Replace the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism

This paper examines the evidence suggesting core involvement of, and leadership from, the German radical left in the process of composing and marketing the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA), with the objective of weakening or replacing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s 2016 Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA).2 The main German actors include officials from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS), which is the political foundation arm of Die Linke, its NGO allies, and from the Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at the Berlin Technical University. The analysis traces the history of instrumentalizing antisemitism and antizionism in pursuit of internal ideological and political agendas and objectives, including support for the BDS movement. This context serves as the foundation for explaining the specific actions, including the publication of an “expert paper” in 2019 that articulated the goal of replacing the IHRA-WDA with an alternative definition, and presented much of the content that became the JDA.

Keywords: IHRA; antisemitism definition; Germany, antizionism; Die Linke; Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

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