February 4, 2021
Photo: Claudine Van Massenhove / Shutterstock.com
UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) student senate unanimously passed a resolution on February 3 adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at UCSB announced the passage of the resolution in a Facebook post, noting that this makes UCSB the first UC school to pass such a resolution.
“It took long hours of writing and negotiations but in the end it worked out and the IHRA definition of antisemitism passed unanimously,” SSI at UCSB Co-President Harrison Kerdman said in a statement. “This gives our community such an important tool to protect ourselves from both classical as well as contemporary antisemitism.”
Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of Santa Barbara Hillel, said in a statement to the Journal, “We are thankful that the UC Santa Barbara Student Senate unanimously adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism. I’m proud that our remarkable Hillel staff convened Jewish student leaders spanning many different organizations — encompassing varying perspectives, backgrounds, and interests — so our community could speak with a unified voice. We know that antisemitism has taken on pernicious new forms in recent years, and we believe this definition is a first step in addressing this issue.
“As always, Santa Barbara Hillel is proactive in standing up for our students, building bridges, and fostering a positive campus climate.”
StandWithUs co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “StandWithUs commends UCSB’s student government for unanimously adopting the IHRA working definition of antisemitism in an effort to name, identify, and educate about antisemitism. This is an important step in the right direction and we are encouraged by such overwhelming support and commitment to respond to antisemitism.” She also thanked groups such as the Israel Campus Coalition and Hillel International’s Campus Initiative for their efforts in getting the resolution passed.
The IHRA definition states that the demonization and delegitimization of Israel amounts to anti-Semitism; the Biden administration has stated that they support the IHRA definition, and the German cabinet has recognized IHRA as an international institution.
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