MP condemns Warwick University for refusing to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

He also called on all universities to adopt this definition


Conservative MP Andrew Percy has called upon the University of Warwick to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

A video shared by the Union of Jewish Student's Twitter account shows Percy, the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against anti-Semitism (APPGAA), call upon all universities to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Percy also condemns universities such as Warwick that have failed to do so. This occurred during a General Debate in the House of Commons regarding Holocaust Memorial Day.

Percy warned against the "Israelification of anti-Semitism" and encouraged his fellow MP's to "sign up to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and that applies to universities in this country as well, where we have a big problem with anti-Semitism on campuses."

He said: "So will you therefore condemn universities like Warwick, whose vice-Chancellor is refusing to sign up to the IHRA definition, which absolutely deals with this Israelification of anti-Semitism."

The comments made about the need for universities to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism were a response to a statement made by the Conservative MP Stephen Crabb, who claimed: "Often, when we are discussing anti-Semitism…people skirt around the issue of Israel and I recognise that their are distinctions.

"I put on record that I'm Parliamentary Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel but when we call out anti-Semitism in our society today I think it's important to remember that the mask, the face worn by anti-Semitism in 2020 very often is just a blatant hatred of Israel.

"And people dress up, I think, their core anti-Semitism with a hatred of Israel, thinking that it somehow makes their anti-Semitism more acceptable."

The working IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition describes anti-Semitism as a "certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

The IHRA website provides a list of possible examples that would meet this definition of anti-Semitism.

On the 13th January, The Jewish Chronicle released an article regarding the decision of the vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft, not to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

In a letter to the president of Warwick University's Jewish-Israeli Society and Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Fishel Cohen the vice-Chancellor stated the university would not "formally adopt individual definitions of specific terms of discriminatory behaviour…to adopt one would inevitably lead to the adoption of a whole series of definitions."

The vice-Chancellor also went on to state the university would be "mindful" of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism when considering how they "may help inform future policy development."

UPDATE: A spokesman from the university told The Warwick Tab: "The vice-Chancellor wishes to continue the dialogue about this matter and has his office has offered suggested dates to those concerned for such meetings."