Councillors warned of a rising tide of anti-Semitism as they unanimously agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition.

More than 100 councils across the country have accepted the definition, and Richmond becomes the 19th in London to do so.

It describes anti-Semitism as: “A certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.

“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.”

Speaking at a full council meeting on November 28, Councillor Jo Humphreys made a powerful speech in support of the definition.

Seconding the motion to adopt the IHRA guidelines in full, which councillors from all parties backed unanimously, she said: “Words matter. What we say and how we say it is terribly important.

“I have lived in the UK my whole life, and I’m what would be described as a secular Jew.

“I live a fully integrated life, and until recently – apart from an incident in primary school when I was accused of killing Jesus – I have been relatively untouched by anti-Semitism.

“However, it feels like there has been a shift in attitudes recently.

“More and more, anti-Semitism is creeping into the mainstream of our society, into the heart of our political landscape.

“It could be that these thoughts and opinions were always there, but now people seem to be somehow emboldened, and it’s more important than ever to make clear what is anti-Semitic, and condemn it wherever it occurs.”

Cllr Humphreys warned of the rise of “keyboard warrior anti-Semites”, saying this “terrified” her.

She said: “No longer banished to the fringes of our political discourse, unacceptable comments appear on mainstream forums.

“Sitting in my own home, I find myself reading about world Jewish conspiracies and Jewish control of our major institutions.

“Any conversation about Jews and Israel doesn’t get very far without the Rothschilds being mentioned.

“Jews worldwide are being collectively blamed for the actions of one individual, one politician, one government.

“And unbelievably, Holocaust denial and accusations of six million being an exaggeration are being openly discussed.”

She warned about how many people simply scroll past such comments, or contribute to discussions without calling out or challenging people “who have clearly crossed the line”.

She continued: “Is everyone an anti-Semite? Absolutely not. However, as we know, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Cabinet member for equality and communities, Councillor Michael Wilson, proposed the motion.

He spoke about a remembrance weekend service he went to at a local synagogue, which marked not only the centenary of the end of the First World War, but also 80 years since Kristallnacht, a pogrom carried out in Nazi Germany when Jewish-owned buildings, businesses and synagogues were attacked, and at least 91 people were murdered as the authorities stood by.

Cllr Wilson said: “Although thankfully we have moved on from that time, and learned lessons since, unfortunately we are reminded that there is still some way to go to stamp out racism and xenophobia, including anti-Semitism, completely.”

He praised other councils for adopting the IHRA definition, adding: “It is only right that Richmond is added to that list and in doing so we send a clear message to anyone that we are united in standing against hate crime and anti-Semitism in our borough and across the country.”