International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism
De Montfort University (DMU) has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, excluding the examples.
DMU has not incorporated the examples which are outlined by the IHRA as we share the concerns raised among Jewish scholars around potential limitations on freedom of speech and the interaction with academic freedom, particularly around discourse focusing on the state of Israel. However, the university will take the examples into consideration where appropriate to do so. We will continue to consult with our Jewish staff, students and community on this.
DMU takes the issue of antisemitism very seriously, and considers antisemitism to be a form of racism, as provided for in the Equality Act 2010. As such, any hatred or harassment linked to ethnicity or religion and belief is taken extremely seriously, and is dealt with appropriately in line with our relevant policies.
Further, DMU has given its full support to a Universities UK (UUK) campaign to decisively tackle racial harassment and address racial inequality in higher education, and has demonstrably committed to race equality through our Race Equality Charter Bronze award, and our internal Decolonising DMU programme, which seeks to address structural and systemic inequalities based on race at DMU.
While the university has not formally been made aware of any antisemitic cases taking place on DMU’s campus in recent history, we are aware there has been a rise of antisemitism and racism more generally across the UK. DMU is committed to tackling this.
Accordingly, we have launched No Space for Hate project. This project aims to ensure staff, students and visitors are able to challenge behaviour which does not respect the rights and dignity of others, and to raise genuine complaints about hate, harassment, discrimination or bullying without fear of discrimination. As part of this project, we have strengthened and further publicised our formal reporting mechanisms, and have launched an anonymous reporting portal for students, as we are aware that not everybody wants to make a formal report. In addition to strengthening our current policies and formal mechanisms for reporting, we are also considering how we can further support anonymous reporting for staff.
As part of the No Space for Hate project, we developed an accompanying policy released in June 2020. This seeks to define the types of behaviour we would deem unacceptable, alongside the procedures for reporting and tackling this behaviour. As part of this, we have recognised antisemitism, islamophobia and transphobia as three examples of specific types of harassment and abusive behaviour which we do not tolerate at DMU, with the definition of antisemitism utilising the IHRA definition:
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.
We will use this definition, alongside the Equality Act 2010, and our policies and procedures, to guide our work to call out and tackle antisemitic behaviour.
DMU does not tolerate hate, harassment, bullying or discrimination, and is absolutely committed to tackling antisemitism, ensuring our campus is a safe space for all of our Jewish staff, students and visitors.