Federal Council adopts report on working definition of antisemitism

Press release, 04.06.2021

At its meeting on 4 June 2021, the Federal Council adopted the report on a postulate regarding possible areas of application of the working definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). As part of the many measures to combat antisemitism in Switzerland, the definition provides additional guidance in identifying antisemitic incidents. The report also makes recommendations for developing further measures to combat antisemitism in Switzerland.

The Federal Council firmly and unequivocally opposes any form of antisemitism. It recognises the value and practical relevance of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, which can provide further guidance in identifying antisemitic incidents while also serving as a basis for more specific definitions aimed at particular areas or purposes.

In its report, the Federal Council also acknowledges Switzerland’s long-standing and many efforts at national and international level to combat antisemitism. The report lists a range of measures the Service for Combating Racism (SCRA) and the Federal Commission against Racism (FCR) can implement as part of their mandate. These include strengthening coordination and increasing exchange at federal, cantonal and communal level, and promoting strategic planning.

The report was prepared by a working group led by the Federal Department of Home Affairs (Service for Combating Racism), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) and other experts. It is based on two research projects: a legal analysis of the IHRA working definition and an evaluation of federal, cantonal and communal measures to combat antisemitism. The Federal Council’s report fulfils postulate 19.3942 entitled “Definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)ˮ submitted by Council of States member Paul Rechsteiner.

The studies are available on the SCRA website.

The working definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
«Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards 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.»


Further information:

Service for Combating Racism


Address for enquiries:

Michele Galizia, Head of the Service for Combating Racism (SCRA), +41 58 464 13 31,
michele.galizia@gs-edi.admin.ch


Publisher:

The Federal Council
Federal Department of Home Affairs
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs