The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism

This is the declaration which emerged from the The London Conference on Combatting Antisemitism, hosted by the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in London for the founding Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of antisemitism as a potent
force in politics, international affairs and society.

We note the dramatic increase in recorded antisemitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.

We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations – in rhetoric and political action – against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel.

We are alarmed by Government-backed antisemitism in general, and state-backed genocidal antisemitism, in particular.

We, as Parliamentarians, affirm our commitment to a comprehensive programme of action to meet this challenge.

We call upon national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.

We today in London resolve that;

Challenging Antisemitism

1. Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity;

2. Parliamentarians should speak out against antisemitism and discrimination directed against any minority, and guard against equivocation, hesitation and justification in the face of expressions of hatred;

3. Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust and must encourage civil society to be vigilant to this phenomenon and to openly condemn it;

4. Parliamentarians should campaign for their Government to uphold international commitments on combating antisemitism – including the OSCE Berlin Declaration and its eight main principles;

5. The UN should reaffirm its call for every member state to commit itself to the principles laid out in the Holocaust Remembrance initiative including specific and targeted policies to eradicate Holocaust denial and trivialisation;

6. Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for antisemitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and we will never witness – or be party to – another gathering like Durban in 2001;

7. The OSCE should encourage its member states to fulfil their commitments under the 2004 Berlin Declaration and to fully utilise programmes to combat antisemitism including the Law Enforcement programme LEOP;

8. The European Union, inter-state institutions and multilateral fora and religious communities must make a concerted effort to combat antisemitism and lead their member states to adopt proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;

9. Leaders of all religious faiths should be called upon to use all the means possible to combat antisemitism and all types of discriminatory hostilities among believers and society at large;

10. The EU Council of Ministers should convene a session on combating antisemitism relying on the outcomes of the London Conference on Combating Antisemitism and using the London Declaration as a basis.


11. Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of explicitly antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of explicitly antisemitic programmes;

12. Governments should fully reaffirm and actively uphold the Genocide Convention, recognising that where there is incitement to genocide signatories automatically have an obligation to act. This may include sanctions against countries involved in or threatening to commit genocide or referral of the matter to the UN Security Council or initiate an interstate complaint at the International Court of Justice;

13. Parliamentarians should legislate effective Hate Crime legislation recognising “hate aggravated crimes” and, where consistent with local legal standards, “incitement to hatred” offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;

14. Governments that are signatories to the Hate Speech Protocol of the Council of Europe ‘Convention on Cybercrime’ (and the ‘Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems’) should enact domestic enabling legislation;

Identifying the threat

15. Parliamentarians should return to their legislature, Parliament or Assembly and establish inquiry scrutiny panels that are tasked with determining the existing nature and state of antisemitism in their countries and developing recommendations for government and civil society action;

16. Parliamentarians should engage with their governments in order to measure the effectiveness of existing policies and mechanisms in place and to recommend proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;

17. Governments should ensure they have publicly accessible incident reporting systems, and that statistics collected on antisemitism should be the subject of regular review and action by government and state prosecutors and that an adequate legislative framework is in place to tackle hate crime.

18. Governments must expand the use of the EUMC ‘working definition’ of antisemitism to inform policy of national and international organisations and as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;

19. Police services should record allegations of hate crimes and incidents – including antisemitism – as routine part of reporting crimes;

20. The OSCE should work with member states to seek consistent data collection systems for antisemitism and hate crime.

Education, awareness and training

21. Governments should train Police, prosecutors and judges comprehensively. The training is essential if perpetrators of antisemitic hate crime are to be successfully apprehended, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced. The OSCE’s Law enforcement Programme LEOP is a model initiative consisting of an international cadre of expert police officers training police in several countries;

22. Governments should develop teaching materials on the subjects of the Holocaust, racism, antisemitism and discrimination which are incorporated into the national school curriculum. All teaching materials ought to be based on values of comprehensiveness, inclusiveness, acceptance and respect and should be designed to assist students to recognise and counter
antisemitism and all forms of hate speech;

23. The OSCE should encourage their member states to fulfill their commitments under the 2004 Berlin Declaration and to fully utilise programmes to combat antisemitism including the Law Enforcement programme LEOP;

24. Governments should include a comprehensive training programme across the Criminal Justice System using programmes such as the LEOP programme;

25. Education Authorities should ensure that freedom of speech is upheld within the law and to protect students and staff from illegal antisemitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts;

Community Support

26. The Criminal Justice System should publicly notify local communities when antisemitic hate crimes are prosecuted by the courts to build community confidence in reporting and pursuing convictions through the Criminal Justice system;

27. Parliamentarians should engage with civil society institutions and leading NGOs to create partnerships that bring about change locally, domestically and globally, and support efforts that encourage Holocaust education, inter-religious dialogue and cultural exchange;

Media and the Internet

28. Governments should acknowledge the challenge and opportunity of the growing new forms of communication;

29. Media Regulatory Bodies should utilise the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;

30. Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes;

31. The OSCE should seek ways to coordinate the response of member states to combat the use of the internet to promote incitement to hatred;

32. Law enforcement authorities should use domestic “hate crime”, “incitement to hatred” and other legislation as well as other means to mitigate and, where permissible, to prosecute “Hate on the Internet” where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written;

33. An international task force of Internet specialists comprised of parliamentarians and experts should be established to create common metrics to measure antisemitism and other manifestations of hate online and to develop policy recommendations and practical instruments for Governments and international frameworks to tackle these problems.

Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism

34. Participants will endeavour to maintain contact with fellow delegates through working group framework; communicating successes or requesting further support where required;

35. Delegates should reconvene for the next ICCA Conference in Canada in 2010, become an active member of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition and promote and prioritise the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.

Lancaster House, 17 February 2009

24 Responses to “The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism”

  1. Cipriano Says:

    What exactly does para 26 mean?

    26. The Criminal Justice System should publicly notify local communities when antisemitic hate crimes are prosecuted by the courts to build community confidence in reporting and pursuing convictions through the Criminal Justice system.

    What constitutes a “local community”? “Community” is a very elastic word these days. Is it all of us in a particular place, or are separate ethnic/religious “communities” meant here? And which ones are to be notified? If an antisemitic hate crime is committed from within, ahem, another ethnic/religious community, is that community to be notified, or will it just be the local Jewish community which will be notified to “build community confidence”?

  2. Albatros Says:

    Cipriano, it’s just a guess, but I think the idea here is maybe inspired by another type of crimes: rapes and/or homophobic acts.

    The targets need to regain confidence: confidence in the police, confidence in the courts. They need to know that they won’t be told “your skirt was too short” or “your kippa was too provocative”.

    Thus the need to build confidence within the existing organized groups, be they feminist/LGBT… or Jewish in the case of this Declaration. MHO.

    Of course “local community” is rather vague, but this is a list of ideas, not a draft for a law.

    A nice week-end to all!

  3. neveragainforhumanity Says:

    Point 1 in the declaration appears to equate ‘political actors who engage in hate against jews’ and those who ‘target the State of Israel as a jewish collectivity’. As Israel is a jewish state, presumably anyone who strongly criticises the State of Israel or advocates any kind of action against the State of Israel could be interpreted as ‘targetting the State of Israel as a jewish collectivity’. This phrase appears to offer indefinitely wide scope for suppressing any form of criticism of and action against the State of Israel, including legitimate criticism and actions motivated by concerns for human rights and international law, not by any form of racism or antisemitism.

    Point 6 in the declaration includes in its definition of antisemitism ‘the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena’ – would this include the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement?

  4. Albatros Says:

    ‘target the State of Israel as a jewish collectivity’ just means what it means: targeting Israel because it IS a Jewish state is not identical to criticising Israel because of its policy in the Wesk Bank or in/around Gaza.

    You may “strongly criticise” your neighbor because he makes noises at 1 am, but if you “strongly criticise” your neighbor because he’s a troublesome Jew… well, it’s not really the same kind of criticism, is it?

  5. Saul Says:

    Perhaps “neveragainforhumanity” would like to comment on the York story above; i.e. whether this depiction is “criticism of Israel” and so entirely permisable or whether it is type of thing Points 1 to 6 cover? It is, after all, an ideal case study.

  6. Nous espérions que les braises de l’antisémitisme étaient mortes et refroidies « Leblogdenoach Says:

    […] février). Source: EJP – Antisémitisme: le silence n’est pas une option envisageable (ICCA) – Declaration on Combating Antisemitism – UE: affirmer que l’Etat d’Israël a un caractère raciste ou nier son droit à […]

  7. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    While we were away, we caught part of a debate on BBC World as to whether the UN was outdated/no longer fit for purpose…and whether there should be a separate forum for democratic countries to meet and debate issues. Among the panel for the motion (pro-democratic nations forum) was Denis MacShane, who was also present at this conference. The Declaration indicates that such a more permanent forum might well redress the imbalance found in the General Assembly of the UN and certain of its constituent bodies (eg the Human Rights Council).

    Certainly, the (genuine) parliamentary democracies appear far more balanced on deciding just what _does_ belong in the field of racism.

  8. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Today’s Jewish Chronicle (and presumably one or two other papers) has a photo of Gordon Brown, flanked by Jacqui Smith & Hazel Blears, signing this Declaration.

    So not all doom and gloom, then, especially with the news that the UK and Italy (Italy?) are also thinking of giving Durban 2 a miss, and that the US is still considering its position. The fewer of the more obvious and genuine parliamentary democracies attend this travesty, the better. At the very least, it gives any “Zionism is racism” declarations even less credibility.

  9. Jacob Says:

    Brian, the US will not attend the proposed lynching at the Durban2 conference:

    “U.S. will not attend U.N. conference on racism”
    Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:23pm GMT By John Whitesides

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will not attend a U.N. conference on racism that critics say will be a forum to bash Israel and will no longer take part in preparatory sessions for it, a U.S. official said on Friday.

    “We will not attend,” the official said of the World Conference on Racism set for April in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The decision to end U.S. involvement comes one day before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves on her first trip to the Middle East in her new job, including stops in Israel, and removes a likely source of friction during the visit.”

    The last point about “removing a source of friction” is John Whitesides’ the Reuter’s correspondence invention.

  10. Criticizing Israel Isn’t Antisemitism « Murray Dobbin's Blog Says:

    […] in London, U.K. last February for the first meeting of European parliamentarians that lead to the “London Declaration” of which the CPCCA is the follow-up […]

  11. Will Harper criminalize criticism of Israel? By Murray Dobbin « Kanan48 Says:

    […] U.K. last February for the first meeting of European parliamentarians that lead to the “London Declaration” of which the CPCCA is the follow-up […]

  12. kanan48 Says:

    Combating Anti-Semitism or Shielding Israel? By Joanne Naiman. Here is the link:

  13. zkharya Says:

    “The strong defense of the State of Israel by the Jewish community can be understood as part of what is referred to by sociologists as ethnocentrism.”

    Unlike Arab or Muslim (or, indeed, European Christian) support for Palestinian Arab Muslims and/or Christians, of course.

    A sense of justice or fairplay has nothing to do with it.

    • kanan48 Says:

      Just to remind you, there are Arab Jews as well, and you are mixing between religions and ethnics. Also a lot of Jewish communities are critical of Israel and believe that Zionism is damaging, and a threat to their communities.

      • Mira Vogel Says:

        “a lot of Jewish communities are critical of Israel and believe that Zionism is damaging, and a threat to their communities”

        I don’t think you have grounds for that claim, Kanan. Swap “a lot” for “a small minority with a loud voice” and you’re probably right. And if you are right, then we need to recognise that the direct threat to these Jewish communities are actually the people who hate Israel and have decided to enact this hatred on Jews as proxies for Israelis. But you seem to be quite accepting of those people.

        If you are going to attempt to drag indirect factors in antisemitism to the fore of our consideration, I think we could usefully go back a little further and ask what caused the rise of Zionism. The answer is antisemitism taken to its fatal conclusion.

        • kanan48 Says:

          Small minority with loud voice this description fits very well the supporters of the zionism, and just remember Herzl words about antisemitism: “The antisemites will become our most loyal friends, the antisemites nations will become our allies.”
          But it’s clear that most of these supporters don’t read the early writing of the movement founders, or they read selectively.
          And to make it clear, I simply believe that a state built on a racist or religious base is a racist state. A democratic state CAN NOT be a Jewish, Christian, or Muslim state, these kind of state you call them theocratic states. But if your reference is a holy book then we can’t understand each other, I don’t believe in theses sorts of books.

        • Mira Vogel Says:

          You misrepresent me, Kanan. Please see my recent post about attacks on non-Zionist Yemeni Jews, and I think you will recognise that there has to be something between the ethnocracy / theocracy, to which all here object, and what you seem to want, Kanan, which is simply to end one state alone – just the Jewish one – proposing nothing which can meet its citizens’ needs nor change the perspectives of the many Jews who recognise the need for a state where Jews can go if they become stateless or unable to remain in their state. That is, Jews anti-Zionists would call Zionists. Again, I think we have reached the end of what we can talk about here without wasting our time.

      • zkharya Says:

        Most Arab Jews, and their descendants, are now Israeli. They are among the most consistent supporters of Likud, in fact. Most of the rest are no longer Arab.

        Muslim fellow feeling for Muslim, as Christian for Christian, may be quasi-ethnic, even quasi-nationalist.

        E.g. Islamism is a form of Islamic nationalism, predicated on the quasi-national entity of the Ummah.

        And since when had religion nothing to do with ethnicity?

        When you touted your pro-Arab or Palestinian, anti-Jewish nationalist rubbish about Canaanite AND Aramaic, on your website, you clearly objected to being told that the Talmuds are both the most extensive works of Aramaic in existence, or that Hebrew is the earlier (indeed only) example of both alphabetic and Palestinian Canaanite in existence, as the Tanaakh its most extensive literary expression.

        • kanan48 Says:

          “And since when had religion nothing to do with ethnicity?”
          Just try to explain to me, where is the ethnic connection between Iranian, Yemeni, American, Russian, British, Chines….. Muslims? Replace word “Muslims” with “Christians”, “Jews”, “Buddhists”….. The common connection I see here is the human connection.

          “Most Arab Jews, and their descendants, are now Israeli” Your statement proves the changing factor, before and now, and that people consistently changing their believes and ethnicity based on the changing in the circumstances.
          And regarding the “feeling” theory, if I let my feeling toward any “race” or “ethnicity” blinds me from seeing the obvious fact that all have the same rights, then how can I be fair with others, and dare to claim that I am not a racist?
          The DNA tree proves my point, for humans and also for all living creatures on this earth, not holy books you don’t know, or at least not sure, who wrote them and when.
          And for your historical knowledge, every thing at that time was written in Aramaic, and you seem you are forgetting the Arabic, and its relation to the Canaanite’s alphabet, or maybe there is no such thing called an Arabic language!
          And finally try to be civilized in your discussion, using words like “idiot” on your comments on my blog or “rubbish” here don’t make your case stronger, but if you feel good about it, then no worries these words mean nothing to me and you are free to use them.

        • zkharya Says:

          Muslim, Christian or whatever fellow feeling, empathy, sympathy or whatever for other Muslims, Christians etc certainly can be quasi-ethnic, or quasi-ethnocentric, or quasi-ethnosupremacist, since you seem to equate the two.

          Of course the Arabic alphabet descends from the Canaanite. All alphabets do.

          But, Hebrew is

          a) the only surviving dialect of Palestinian Canaanite and
          b) the only surviving dialect of alphabetic Canaanite and
          c) the only dialect of Palestinian or alphabetic Canaanite whose literature survives.

          And the Talmuds are the most extensive works of Aramaic, Palestinian or otherwise, which survive.

          Clearly those words do mean something to you, since they are the only pretext you found for censoring my posts.

  14. zkharya Says:

    You do realise, Kanan, you are saying Jewish sympathy for Israel is de facto racism?

    And you wonder why that would be characterised by some as racism…

  15. kanan48 Says:

    Ethnocentrism, Ethnocentric: Based on Idea that you own race, nation, group etc is better than any other. This is racism.

    • zkharya Says:

      Well. that is not even how that article defined “ethnocentrism”.

      Nevertheless, as I said, even Muslim and Christian fellow feeling, empathy, sympathy, mutual support or whatever can be quasi-ethnocentric i.e. racist too.

  16. modernityblog Says:

    Frankly, as Kanan48 pushes the ideas of Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir it is hardly worth debating such issues with him.

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