Governor Charlie Baker pledges to fight anti-Semitism with updated definition from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Gov. Charlie Baker, redoubling his efforts to combat rising anti-Semitism, said Friday his administration had endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.
State officials and institutions play a “powerful role” in protecting citizens from bigotry and discrimination, including anti-Semitism, according to a proclamation signed Friday by Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. Identifying hate empowers people to promote change, the proclamation states, and “turn darkness into light.”
“The IHRA has defined anti-Semitism as a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed in hatred toward Jews, and rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals or their property. , to Jewish community institutions and religious establishments,” the proclamation states.
“Anti-Semitism threatens public life, the media, schools, the workplace and the religious sphere,” the proclamation continues. “Anti-Semitism is multifaceted and multifaceted, manifesting in many ways, making it easier to spread and harder to combat.”
According to a new hate crimes report released Friday by the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety, 51 incidents of anti-Jewish bias were reported to Massachusetts police in 2020.
The report found that 15.7% of all incidents were anti-religious, with the vast majority – 12.3% – directed against the Jewish community. More than half of all incidents reported to police were anti-racial, with 168 cases reported as anti-black bias.
In December, Baker condemned anti-Semitism by signing the Genocide Education Bill, prompted by Massachusetts lawmakers and activists increasingly concerned about students’ limited knowledge of the Holocaust. The bill requires public middle and high schools to incorporate the history of the Holocaust and other genocides into their curriculum.
Friday’s proclamation offers another tool to combat hate “wherever it is found,” the Baker administration said.
The beginning of the proclamation states that the people of Massachusetts must never forget the 6 million Jews massacred during the Holocaust.
“Anti-Semitism is an evil that threatens not only those who subscribe to the Jewish faith, but everyone, regardless of creed or background…,” the proclamation reads. “The IHRA Working Definition (of Antisemitism) provides a clear, comprehensive, and non-legally binding definition that can be used to determine contemporary manifestations of antisemitism, including Holocaust distortion or denial. , prejudice against Jews and denial of Israel’s right to exist. ”