The IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism Needs Updating, Not Replacing

It’s already the best of the several definitions out there. And, by offering yet clearer guidance on the question of Zionism, it could get even stronger.

The Star of David surrounded by graffiti on an iron door in Krakow on April 8, 2020. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The Star of David surrounded by graffiti on an iron door in Krakow on April 8, 2020. Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Response
July 26 2021
About the author

Ben Cohen, a New York-based writer, has contributed essays on anti-Semitism and related issues to Mosaic and other publications.

Many readers of Mosaic will be familiar with the old joke about the Jew stranded on a desert island who builds two synagogues: one where he will worship, and the other where he will never set foot under any circumstances. The joke is a gently self-deprecating reflection on the image—and in the wrong hands, unpleasant stereotype—of Jews as a quarrelsome people who will take their disputes to the most absurd degrees.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Politics & Current Affairs