November 1, 2022 / JNS
We need a widely accepted definition that will equip us to fight bigotry against Jews, said Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs.
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, which encompasses forms of anti-Zionism.
Following a series of recent anti-Semitic incidents in the second-largest U.S. city, Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced the resolution, seconded by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, for Los Angeles to adopt the IHRA definition in order to “expand the tools we have to fight this bigotry.” The measure requires Los Angeles city departments, staff, elected and appointed officials, and contract agencies to familiarize themselves with the IHRA definition and associated reference materials, which they would incorporate in their day-to-day operations.
Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of the Israel education organization StandWithUs, shared her perspective as a daughter of Holocaust survivors when she spoke at the city council meeting on Tuesday.
“This is a victory against hatred and ignorance,” Rothstein said after the resolution passed. “Anti-Semitism comes from across the political spectrum and often mutates, which can make it difficult to identify. Those who recognize the persecution my family faced in the Holocaust may not understand all the ways it appears today in Los Angeles. The Holocaust did not begin with gas chambers. It began with vicious hateful words. That is why we need IHRA, a clear and widely accepted definition that will make our city government better educated and equipped to fight bigotry against Jews.”
The IHRA definition has been adopted by 37 U.N. member countries and 320 non-federal government entities, including 22 U.S. states.
Before the resolution was introduced, the Goyim Defense League placed a banner reading “Kayne is right about the Jews” on the heavily trafficked Interstate 405 freeway, prompting Hitler salutes by activists there. Additionally, sand-filled bags stuffed with ant-Semitic flyers were placed on the lawns of residents of Beverly Hills, Westwood and Bel Air.