American Jewish Committee (AJC) Seattle applauds the King County Council for taking steps to address antisemitism in the region. Antisemitism in the many forms it manifests is serious, urgent, and rising. It deserves the attention of elected officials, community leaders, and others who are willing to unapologetically stand with the Jewish people and oppose Jew hatred. We are especially appreciative of Council Member Reagan Dunn for initiating this vital conversation, and Council President Dave Upthegrove for his leadership.

We believe that yesterday’s proclamation should have explicitly included the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, a definition widely recognized as the gold standard. The Definition has been adopted by more than 1,100 entities, including 29 states and the District of Columbia, the Biden Administration, 39 countries, multilateral institutions such as the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the United Nations Secretary General and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), numerous athletic organizations, and institutes of higher education. In our region, cities and counties have also adopted the IHRA Definition, including Bellevue, Tacoma, Mill Creek, Snohomish County, and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

A non-binding educational tool, the IHRA Working Definition has garnered unprecedented support from the vast majority of Jewish congregations in King County and the entire Jewish Caucus of the Washington State Legislators. King County residents sent over 12,000 letters to the council urging them to include the IHRA Working Definition as a valuable addition to any action to address antisemitism.

We look forward to working with the Council and other elected officials in our region to further greater understanding of antisemitism, including as defined by the IHRA, and take action to make Jews more safe, secure, and free from intimidation. 

If you have questions, please contact Visit our website to learn more about The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

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