AASUA Declaration on International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's Working Definition of Antisemitism

February 12, 2021, Council Meeting

AASUA recognizes and endorses the need for attention to the rights of marginalized and oppressed peoples and commitment to working to support those rights. The AASUA opposes antisemitism, islamophobia, and all forms of religious discrimination, racism and hatred.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism, in our view, poses a serious threat to our anti-racist initiatives and our work to implement the Truth & Reconciliation Commission calls to action in thoughtful, meaningful and sustainable ways at the University of Alberta and within AASUA. The IHRA definition of antisemitism misconstrues antisemitism to include a broad range of criticism of the State of Israel. The IHRA definition thus undermines important anti-racist and decolonial initiatives in Canadian educational institutions. It can also be used to censor political speech and restrict the academic freedom of teachers and researchers who have developed critical perspectives on the policies and practices of the State of Israel. Such targeted attacks will have a negative effect on the academic freedom of our members in the classroom, in their research, and in campus politics more broadly.