Argentina adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

Argentina adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

The Argentine Foreign Ministry called the definition a guide to determining what behaviors can be considered antisemitic, so that they can be prevented, sanctioned and eliminated.

Argentina joined the countries adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in an official decision by its Foreign Ministry on Sunday night.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry called the definition a guide to determining what behaviors can be considered antisemitic, so that they can be prevented, sanctioned and eliminated.

The resolution called on all branches of government to use the definition “to contribute to the fight of the Argentine Republic against antisemitism in all its forms, collaborate in the construction of a culture of prevention of hostility and violence to which prejudice and intolerance lead, promote education for plurality and reinforce the task of guaranteeing the fulfillment of the objective of education, memory and investigation of the Holocaust and its lessons for us and future generations.”

Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá also invited public and private institutions of Argentina to begin using the working definition.

The IHRA working definition of antisemitism states: “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.”

The IHRA definition's examples of antisemitism, which are not mentioned in the Argentine resolution, include calling Israel a racist endeavor or comparing Israel to Nazis.

The adoption of the definition comes after Argentine President Alberto Fernández’s visit to Israel in January as part of the World Holocaust Forum, his first official trip abroad.

Argentina’s Ambassador to Israel Sergio Daniel Urribarri said the decision was meant “to continue developing Holocaust remembrance as an official Argentine State policy.”

“Our Minister of Foreign Affairs made it clear in his resolution that its goal is to contribute to the fight against antisemitism in all its forms, collaborate in the building of a culture where hostility and violence have no place, and promote education for pluralism, as well as to encourage the remembrance and research of the Holocaust,” Urribarri stated.

Urribarri, who began in his new post in Israel on Thursday, has emphasized the need for education about the Holocaust throughout his career.

In 2011, Urribarri became the first governor of an Argentine province to require all schools to teach about the Holocaust at all levels, a policy he instituted in Entre Ríos.

Urribarri remarked that “during the Fifth Global Holocaust Forum [in January], several reports were published regarding the lack of knowledge about the Holocaust of youngsters.

“I’m proud to say that that doesn’t happen in my province, and we’re committed to turn that into a reality across all of Argentina,” he stated.

Earlier this month, Argentina's government came under fire for honoring Ramón Carillo, a pro-Nazi doctor and former health minister, on a new peso movement. Carillo provided refuge to Danish fugitive and Buchenwald camp doctor Carl Peter Vaernet, permitting him to continue experiments on homosexuals to "heal" them.

Israel’s ambassador in Argentina, Galit Ronen, criticized the decision on Twitter, writing that, “When we say 'nunca más' ("never again") in reference to the Holocaust, there is no point in commemorating someone who sympathizes with this [Nazi] ideology."

Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report.

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