What is antisemitism?
How we define it for our internal purposes

Antisemitism as such is not illegal.

The laws against racism don't define or refer to antisemitism.

ELAPSA defines antisemitism for deciding which cases to take up.

ELAPSA uses the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism.

According to the College of Policing's Hate Crime Operational Guidance:

The ongoing political conflict between Israel and Palestine has led to a new antisemitism, sometimes also referred to as anti-Zionism. This is expressed in a system of beliefs, convictions and political activities focused around the conflict in the Middle East. This form of hostility often blames Jews and/or Israelis for all of the tension in the region. Legitimate criticism of Israeli government policy is acceptable in a modern, free society, but political views do not justify criminality. A crime motivated wholly or partially by such hostility should be recognised as a hate crime.

The Guidance goes on to refer to the EUMC Definition, on which it comments:

The EUMC working definition helps to explain some of the characteristics that may be present in antisemitic hate crime. These include circumstances that amount to hate crimes and those that are likely to be non-crime hate incidents. 

The EUMC Definition gives the following examples of modern antisemitism:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Importantly, the EUMC Definition emphasises that criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

In our view, criticism of Israel is not "similar to that levelled against any other country" when Israel is disproportionately subject to such criticism compared to other countries, especially those which commit human rights violations far worse than any which can be rationally attributed to the Jewish state.

Denying Israel the right of self-defence is another example of an antisemitic double-standard.

Local authorities and universities do not (as yet) promote or permit hatred towards Jews as such. But some of these bodies do sometimes promote or permit modern antisemitism, which (as mentioned) manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel.