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Herzog, Michaeli write to ZFA to welcome Australian adoption of IHRA

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog has written to Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler, welcoming the announcement that Australia will adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, and congratulating the Jewish community for its role in securing its adoption.

In the letter, President Herzog wrote, “Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that the Australian Government will formally endorse the IHRA definition is an important statement of Australia’s commitment to remember the past and its recognition that the spectre of antisemitism still haunts us. I want to commend you personally and your colleagues at the ZFA for your wise and persistent efforts to bring about this historic outcome”.

The ZFA, together with ECAJ and AIJAC and other mainstream Jewish organisations, have advocated for the adoption of IHRA with support from the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community. President Herzog thanked the community for its role and noted, “Australian Jewry is known worldwide for its passionate commitment to Jewish identity and the State of Israel.”

He also noted, “antisemitism is a bipartisan plague, combatting it must be as well”, in reference to the bipartisan consensus in Australia is support of the definition.

Mr Leibler thanked President Herzog for the letter and said, “Australia’s adoption of the IHRA definition is being recognised globally because it is so important. I am so grateful to the President for not only acknowledging the Prime Minister’s announcement, but also the bipartisan consensus in Australia, and the community efforts to achieve this end.”

Israeli Labour leader Merav Michaeli also wrote to Mr Leibler, noting the bipartisan consensus and thanking him and the entire Jewish community for its advocacy on this issue over the past few years. “While the adoption of the IHRA definition will not on its own stop this evil hatred”, she wrote, “it represents the people of Australia’s commitment to standing on the side of truth and justice.”

Mr Leibler said “It is pleasing that the support for IHRA across the political spectrum in Israel is mirrored in the bipartisan support for IHRA in the Australian Parliament. We thank Ms Michaeli for her support on this important issue”.