February 22, 2020

Organization of American States Leader Announces Support IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism

Photo courtesy of the American Jewish Committee.

Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Luis Almagro announced his support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism on June 4.

American Jewish Committee (AJC) Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs Co-Chair Mario Fleck and Director Dina Siegel Vann presented Almagi with the AJC Champion of Democracy during the concluding session of the AJC Global Forum in Washington, D.C.

Almagro said, “The international community has a responsibility to counter anti-Semitism and xenophobia. There is absolutely no excuse for inaction or denial.”

Almagro then said that the OAS will make the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism “the official definition of anti-Semitism for the work of the Organization of American States.” He pledged to “work every day to accomplish a [Western] Hemisphere free of anti-Semitism, free of terrorism, free of dictatorships. We must do more to educate our people to have zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism.”

Almagro also denounced the Iranian regime and its terror proxy Hezbollah.

“The cowards that attack democracy and the values of human dignity it represents have found fertile ground to operate in Cuba and Venezuela,” Almagro said. “And because evil breeds evil, and evil attracts evil, Latin American dictators in the 21st century have partnered with terrorists and anti-Semitic actors and organizations.”

AJC CEO David Harris declared, “History has been made here today at the AJC Global Forum. Secretary-General Luis Almagro is the first Latin American leader to adopt the working definition of anti-Semitism.”

France is among the countries that have reportedly adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which states that criticism of Israel veers into anti-Semitism when such criticism demonizes and de-legitimizes the Jewish state. The OAS focuses on uniting the 35 countries in the Americas to collaborate on global issues.