Northampton Borough Council set to pledge to fight against anti-Semitism

The anti-Semitism motion will be raised at The Guildhall next Monday
The anti-Semitism motion will be raised at The Guildhall next Monday

Northampton Borough Council is set to ‘restate its condemnation’ of anti-Semitism by adopting an international definition of it and pledging to tackle any evidence of it.

Cabinet member Councillor Anna King is calling for the council to follow the government’s suit by signing up to the internationally recognised guidelines and definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The definition is worded as ’a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred’, and when ‘rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities’.

The government signed up to the guidelines in 2016, and the Labour party’s ruling body the National Executive Committee (NEC) adopted the full definition in September after months of debate over the subject.

The definition gives clearer guidelines on what the IHRA deems to be anti-Semitic, and would be used to challenge and confront incidents of it, but also in potentially determining if elected members or council staff may have violated those guidelines.

Councillor King’s motion, which is seconded by fellow Conservative cabinet member, Cllr James Hill, calls on the borough council to ‘acknowledge the importance of tackling anti-Semitism in all its forms’ and ‘to support the growing Jewish community in our town and across the county’.

It also asks the executive to look to adopt ‘similarly agreed definitions to confront and challenge all forms of racism and discrimination that exist within our society’ and ‘restate its condemnation of all forms of racism in all its manifestations’.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism has already been adopted by more than 140 local councils across the UK.