The Northern Ireland Assembly has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism despite opposition from Sinn Féin and People Before Profit.
The DUP’s motion to adopt the definition was backed by members of the Assembly last week, a move which brings them in line with dozens of other countries.
Sinn Féin proposed an amendment which would have removed all references to the IHRA and its examples of antisemitism, with West Belfast MLA Pat Sheehan saying if it was codified in law it would prevent “legitimate criticism of the State of Israel”.
Sinn Féin’s amendment was rejected by the SDLP with MLA Matthew O’Toole saying legitimate criticism of Israel could happen within the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism. He said characterising antisemitism was important and the IHRA definition was a “useful tool”.
The Alliance Party’s Andrew Muir backed the DUP’s motion and spoke of the recent attack on Jewish graves in Belfast City Cemetery. He said this was proof antisemitism exists in Northern Ireland.