EU anti-racism agency drops definition of anti-Semitism

BRUSSELS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency has removed the definition of anti-Semitism from its website.

The definition had been on the site since 2005, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. Blanca Tapia, an official with the EU agency, told the JTA the organization does not need a definition of anti-Semitism to combat it and is not required to write its own.


The definition included "attacking Israel ... by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel," the British newspaper the Independent reported.

Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told JTA the decision is "astounding."

"Those who fight anti-Semitism have lost an important weapon," he said.

But Mira Bar Hillel, a columnist for the Independent, said the definition had been used to silence criticism of Israeli policy in the British news media. She described the definition as "seeking to equate criticism of bad behavior by a powerful political entity to the daubing of swastikas and desecration of graves."

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