At the University of Hertfordshire, we are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all – whoever you are and whatever your background.
As part of this commitment, we have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
The IHRA definition
Working in consultation with staff, our Students’ Union, and Student Jewish Society, the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism was formally adopted by the University of Hertfordshire’s Board of Governors at a meeting held in November 2020. This includes the adoption of the eleven examples of antisemitism that were published alongside the definition.
The definition reads:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The University adopted the definition with the following clarifications as recommended by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2016:
To ensure that freedom of speech is maintained in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine, without allowing antisemitism to permeate any debate:
It is not antisemitic to criticise the government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent
It is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.
What this means for students, staff and the University
This definition will act as a useful tool when determining whether certain behaviour can be classified as antisemitic and therefore in breach of the University’s equality and diversity policies.
Our continued commitment to free speech
We pride ourselves on being an institution where a range of different opinions, perspectives and ideas can be expressed by our community. We believe the adoption of this definition does not affect our commitment to free speech and in turn helps facilitate an inclusive and understanding culture at the University.