The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Amanda Bowman — vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews — expressed a similar sentiment, calling the IHRA definition “a useful yardstick to determine whether specific actions are or are not antisemitic.”
A University of Bristol spokesperson stated, “The University of Bristol has adopted in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.”
“We will also start to consult on the adoption of additional definitions relating to other minority groups that may also feel vulnerable to discrimination and hatred,” the spokesperson added. “All such definitions will be applied by the university in a manner which his consistent with our legally-binding commitments to freedom of speech and to the rights of all students and staff to discuss difficult and sensitive topics, provided that this right is exercised responsibly, within the law, and with respect for others who may have differing views.”
“We take this opportunity to restate that there is no place for any racism, bullying or discrimination at the University of Bristol and that this should be a place where all feel safe, welcomed and respected, of gender, gender identity, religion, race, sexual orientation, disability, age or social background” the spokesperson concluded.
The IHRA definition says: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”