Antisemitism as it Relates to Israel
The most useful—and for some the most controversial—of the examples provided in the definition are those related to the State of Israel. They are intended to explain where and how anti-Israel animus can become a form of antisemitism, separate and apart from criticism of Israel. These include drawing analogies to the Nazis, declaring Israel a racist— and thus illegitimate—endeavor, holding it to standards expected of no other democratic state, and holding Jews collectively responsible for its actions. These examples are reflected in the 2018 FRA survey and track what the vast majority of European Jews themselves consider antisemitic.1 Some critics of Israel have unfairly claimed that the Working Definition is intended to label them as antisemites. In fact, its careful wording leaves a wide berth for sharp and vigorous criticism of Israel’s government and policies. It is a “non-legally binding” definition intended to guide and educate. It is not a means to squelch debate or free speech, and those who misuse it in this way should be opposed.
1Experiences and perceptions of antisemitism/Second survey on discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in the EU.” European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2018.