The city of Paris adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism during a session of the Council of Paris on Thursday, joining a growing number of cities around the world, including London and more recently the French city of Nice, to make the move.
The decision was taken by the Council of Paris, headed by Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo, which consists of 163 councillors and that is responsible for governing the French capital.
The IHRA definition is an internationally agreed classification of antisemitism, which also provides contemporary examples of how antisemitism too often plays out in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere.
“The ability to criticize Israel’s policies on many subjects is something that comes under political opinion, and the exercise of political opinion. Criticizing Israel in its essence and existence falls under the definition of antisemitism, it is a new form of antisemitism,” Hidalgo said during the vote in the Assembly.
“The State of Israel was also created because there was the Shoah. In order to carry our values of freedom, we must be very clear with the words we use. This definition adopted by our assembly we will give each word its precise meaning and live up to the history of our city.
“We are the city in which the Vel d’Hiv roundup took place, we are the city in which a European Jewish community has settled down and made this city its city and the Republic its Republic, and this history commits us, “she continued.
The Israeli Embassy in Paris welcomed the adoption of the IHRA definition on Twitter.
Audrey Pulvar, Paris’ deputy mayor tweeted after the adoption that “Antisemitism is not an option, but a crime,” adding that the vote of the Municipality of Paris during Thursday’s Council was intended to recall this and to reiterate [the] condemnation of any antisemitic words or acts, including when they disguise themselves under anti-Zionism.
Submitted to a vote at the initiative of lawyer and 16th Paris District Mayor Francis Szpiner, the resolution was supported by many, among them Senator Remi Féraud, from the “Paris en commun” group, who expressed his full support in the adoption of the definition.