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The Virginia legislature passed HB 1606 this month, adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, including its contemporary examples.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is expected to sign the bill following his executive order acknowledging this definition of antisemitism in January 2022. Youngkin convened a commission to combat antisemitism this past year; its first recommendation was to adopt this IHRA definition.


The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) applauded the move. Thirty American states have now officially recognized the IHRA Working Definition, either by the legislative process or executive order.

“Each and every acknowledgment of this specific definition of antisemitism is a critically important first step in combating jew-hatred in all its various forms and I was pleased to play a role in this important achievement,” said Elan Carr, former US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, and member of the Combat Antisemitism Movement Advisory Board.

“States need the tools to educate its law enforcement, employees, and citizens on the ways antisemitic behavior is often hiding in plain sight and the IHRA definition is the key building block to do so. I praise the Virginia legislature and Governor Youngkin on this achievement and encourage every city, state, and country in the world to follow their lead.”

As of February 2023, more than 1,100 global entities, which consist of nations, cities, for-profit companies, universities, non-profits, political parties, and others have adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.