Greece is adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial as formed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Friday.
The news was announced in a meeting he held with the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) David Saltiel, and the head of the Greek Delegation to the IHRA, Dr. Efstathios Lianos Liantis, at his office.
The definition has been adopted by many countries members and non-members of the European Union as well by the European Parliament, which has called its member-states to incorporate it into their national legislations, through a relevant directive.
However, Greece becomes the first country to adopt the working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion, “in an act of great historical importance,” the prime ministers’s office said.
The Greek IHRA chairmanship, which coincides with the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, will promote a network of academic, educational and cultural activities focusing on the role of education and social media in preserving Holocaust Remembrance, as well on promoting the two-thousand-year-old history of Greek Jews.
Mitsotakis assigned the oversight of this project as well as the coordination and supervision of the integration of the definitions into domestic legislation and education to the government Vice-President Panagiotis Pikrammenos.
The news comes on the eve of the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) anniversary, when a pogrom carried out by SA paramilitary forces and civilians was unleashed against Jews throughout Nazi Germany in 1938.
Commenting on the news, the Israeli embassy in Greece hailed the move, noting it is a “clear statement of commitment and moral standing.”
“The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his government are showing leadership and setting an example in fighting anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia,” it added.
IHRA’s working definition, as adopted on 26 May 2016, is the following: “Antisemitism is 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.”