The cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to adopt the non-legally binding, working definition of anti-semitism, as employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, as a useful guidance tool in education and training.
The proposal was presented by the foreign and education ministers, making the island the 17th country to adopt the definition and implementing education and other policies that promote respect for diversity and combat all forms of racism.
“It reaffirms the commitment of the Republic of Cyprus to promote and foster respect and diversity and to combat all forms of discrimination, racism and xenophobia, including anti-semitism,” a foreign ministry statement said.
The decision was welcomed as an important step by the Israeli embassy in Nicosia.
The embassy said the decision “is especially significant in view of the continued spread of anti-semitism in Europe and around the world. We must remember the past to ensure the future.”
Jewish organisations also praised the decision.
In a message posted on twitter, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) wrote: “Thank you to Cyprus for adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, a vital tool in the global effort to combat Jew-hatred in all its forms.”
David Harris, the CEO of AJC, also posted a message on his twitter account, saying that during their visit in Nicosia, last month, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides told them that adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism was high on the government’s agenda. “Now it’s been done. Once again, Cyprus has shown its leadership & friendship” Harris wrote, thanking the government in Greek.
Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, congratulated on twitter the president and the government of Cyprus “for taking this important resolution to combat anti-Semitism.”
Yuval Rotem, the director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, also posted a message on twitter, speaking about “an important step taken by Cyprus.” We hope to see more countries adopting the IHRA definition in combating antisemitism, Rotem added.