Victoria adopts anti-Semitism definition

·1-min read

An internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism will be adopted in Victoria to better protect Jewish residents and inform policy.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance defines anti-Semitism as a "certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews".

It includes "rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities".

The definition was established in 2016 by IHRA in response to increased antisemitic sentiments and incidents worldwide.

It has since been adopted by 34 United Nations member states.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said adopting the definition would provide a stronger foundation to protect Jewish Victorians, and help inform policy and legislative changes.

"Anti-Semitism hurts the Jewish community deeply, and it offends all of us," he said in a statement on Thursday.

"From attempting to water down the horrors of the Holocaust or denying the Jewish people their right to self determination, adopting this definition ensures that Jewish history can never be rewritten or diminished."

The Victorian government on Wednesday introduced legislation in parliament to ban intentional public displays of the Nazi swastika.

On Thursday, Victoria Police said they charged two men for allegedly putting swastika stickers on buildings, fences, light poles and bus stops at Caulfield in Melbourne's southeast.

Both men - a 29-year-old from Elwood and a 21-year-old from Doreen - are due to face Moorabbin Magistrates' Court in August.

The Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill is expected to pass both houses with bipartisan support.

It will only apply to the Nazi swastika, also known as the Hakenkreuz.

Displays of versions of the symbol tied to the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths are not affected.

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