Condemning the Ontario Governments Adoption of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

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Condemning the Ontario Government’s Adoption of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

We, the signing organizations, condemn in the strongest possible terms the Ontario government’s adoption of the misleading International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Bill 168, the Combating Antisemitism Act, was scheduled to go through public consultations and receive public submissions by October 30. Instead, on October 26, the Ford government circumvented the democratic process by adopting the IHRA definition through issuing an Order-In-Council, an executive action used to supplant democratic action. The consultations were therefore cancelled as a result.

Furthermore, there have been mixed messages from officials in regards to whether the IHRA’s “illustrative examples,” which conflate criticism of Israel with antisemitism, are included. In fact, the provincial government has failed to clearly affirm Ontarians’ freedom to express solidarity for Palestinian human rights. The ambiguity makes way for supporters of the Israeli government to weaponize the IHRA definition to clamp down on speech about Israeli human rights violations.

There are real concerns that we will see — as we have seen already — many widespread cases of institutions denying individuals jobs or appointments, denying organizations funding and access to resources, editors rejecting articles, etc, because of the chilling effect that this misleading definition of antisemitism instills.Cntnue reading


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