A new definition of anti-Semitism will be adopted by Richmond Council, it was agreed last week.

At a full Council meeting, the Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Michael Wilson, put forward a motion to adopt a new legal definition drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). It was agreed unanimously.

Over 100 councils across the UK have adopted the new definition. It defines antisemitism as: “A certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.

“Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Members will now seek to agree to include the definition within the council’s constitution and code of conduct for members and officers.

Cllr Wilson, said: “This motion highlights that the Council is concerned at the rise in anti-Semitism in recent years across the country. And, while anti-Semitic crime isn’t a huge issue in Richmond upon Thames, there are still isolated cases. Therefore, in order to combat it, we need a definition of what anti-Semitism is.

“This definition is supported by over 30 global governments, including the UK, the Scottish and Welsh parliaments. Over 100 councils have adopted it, including 18 London boroughs. It is only right that we do too.”

Cllr Jo Humphreys, seconded the motion. She added: “Words matter – what we say and how we say it is important. I am a Secular Jew and I have lived in this borough for the last 10 years. Whilst anti-Semitic crime and incidents are relatively low in Richmond upon Thames, I am seeing more and more anti-Semitism creeping into our society. We all need a clear understanding on what is anti-Semitic and what isn’t. This definition will help. And, where we see anti-Semitism, we must condemn it.”