Adoption of antisemitism definition

LSHTM adoption of the IHRA definition of Antisemitism

In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted its non-legally binding working definition of Antisemitism. The definition has since been adopted by a range of organisations and governments, including the UK government.

Adoption of IHRA’s working definition was considered in depth at LSHTM’s EDI committee in December 2019. This was done within the broader context of LSHTM’s duties under the Equality Act (2010) to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination in all its forms and to foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and person who do not share it. It should be noted that LSHTM’s current EDI policy is due to be reviewed alongside our EDI strategy / action plan which will be progressed during 2020/21.

On balance it has been decided that LSHTM should:

  • adopt the IHRA definition with two additional caveats recommended by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2016 (see below);
  • consider further how this statement will be used in the context of the above-mentioned review of our EDI policy and strategy/action plan;
  • that this consideration includes LSHTM’s approach to tackling all forms of discrimination including, for example, Islamophobia and religious based hate crimes more broadly and that this is undertaken in consultation with staff and students. 

The IHRA definition has been adopted by LSHTM with the following caveats, which were recommended by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2016:

  • It is not antisemitic to criticise the government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent
  • It is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent