Call to Action: Support Vancouver City Council’s Efforts to Fight Antisemitism!
We cannot fight antisemitism if we cannot clearly and consistently identify it.
This is why CIJA is supporting a motion put forward by Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung to Vancouver City Council to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which was recently included in the Government of Canada’s anti-racism strategy.
The IHRA definition, which has been adopted by dozens of democratic countries, is a vital tool in countering the global rise in antisemitism. It sets a strong example and offers a practical tool for authorities – from police, to school districts and campus officials – as they work to tackle antisemitism.
Much of this work to protect our community happens at the level of municipal government. CIJA is encouraging the City of Vancouver to be the first city in Canada to officially adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
This is especially crucial in light of a recent report by the Vancouver Police Department’s hate crimes unit, which revealed that Jewish residents are one the most targeted groups when it comes to hate crimes in the city. Alarmingly, hate crimes and hate incidents in Vancouver more than doubled between 2016 and 2018.
Antisemitism can only be overcome by education, increased awareness, strong political condemnation, and enforcement of relevant laws. All of this must be anchored in the IHRA definition as a clear means of identifying Jew hatred.