International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) on the “IHRA Definition of Antisemitism”

The following statement was originally produced in Spanish by IJAN Spain and IJAN Argentina in  September 2020 and translated into English by IJAN in January 2021. Samidoun is sharing this statement on an issue of critical importance to the movement, especially in confronting anti-Palestinian repression globally: 


The State of Israel was founded on racism, discrimination and Jewish exclusivism


The following statement was originally produced in Spanish by IJAN Spain and IJAN Argentina. September 2020

1.- The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network hereby expresses its repudiation and rejection of the new definition of “antisemitism” that is being promoted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance as we consider it to be a subsidiary instrument of the zionist movement and the State of Israel, with its objectives being:

  1. to reinforce the mythology and the whole set of ideological operations constructed to justify their exclusivist project
  2. to silence any criticism towards zionism and the State of Israel.

2.- The primary goal of the definition proposed by the IHRA is to establish an equivalence between antisemitism and antizionism.

  1. It is a political and semiological operation designed to confuse the public and
  2. muddy the political foundations of criticism towards zionism and the State of Israel

3.-We in IJAN hold that zionism is not representative of the whole of world Jewry  and that in no way, shape or form can criticism of this ideology or of the State of Israel be considered equivalent to “antisemitism”.

4.- What is zionism then and what are the criticisms that can be levelled at it?

  1. It is a movement, an ideology and a project born at the end of the nineteenth century amidst the rise and under the influence of European Judeophobia. It is therefore, not a constitutive part of Judaism.
  2. It represents a settler-colonial project, which has slowly conquered and colonized Palestine, bringing about a process of ethnic cleansing of its native population which goes on to this very day.
  3. It is an exclusivist and racist project, tied to imperialism and anchored in the orientalist prejudice towards Palestinians and Arabs in general. It practices and promotes islamophobia. It relies as well on the support of millions of followers of Christian zionism, in politically right wing and far right organizations.
  4. It set itself up as a form of tribal and ethno-religious nationalism, which aims: to turn the Jewish people, a cultural collective which has always been historically and linguistically diverse, into a national and homogenous entity standing behind a process of conquest and colonization, gather the entirety of the world Jewry with the objective of creating a new community (a nation) in a new State in the Middle East, in the lands of native Palestinians, claiming therein supposed “historical rights”, mobilize the Jewish communities in order to support its project and the State of Israel’s policies.
  5. It denies and repudiates the existence of other Jewish identities: non-nationalist identities, Yiddish cultural identities, and most of all, non-European Jewish identities (Arab Jews, Persian Jews, etc.)
  6. It builds an apartheid regime which denies (with differing degree) the civil and political rights of the Palestinian people that live today in the State of Israel and of those living in occupied Gaza and the West Bank. And it denies, furthermore, the right of return of millions of diasporic Palestinian refugees around the world.
  7. It stands in violation of basic human rights.
  8. It has been in the past, and is currently allied to and a collaborator with authoritarian and anti-popular regimes (especially in matters of security and the military).

5.- What is antizionism?

  1. Antizionism is a broad movement, containing within it a variety of standpoints: religious, secular, Marxist, anticolonial and liberal.
  2. The secular and progressive political orientation taken by IJAN follows the logic of human rights and internationalism. It repudiates Judeophobia and any other form of discrimination (Islamophobia, racism against the Roma people, anti-Black racism, etc.). It questions the ideological basis of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel as a colonialist, exclusivist project of conquest and colonization in Palestine, which illegitimately claims to be carried out in the name of the entirety of the world Jewry.

6.- What are the points and arguments IHRA deploys to silence criticisms of Zionism, and                     why are we in disagreement with them?

According to the definition of IHRA,

  1. To accuse Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of the Jews of the world, than to the interests of the countries of their citizenship
  2. To consider Jews responsible for the acts of the State of Israel

Are acts of antisemitism.

IJAN: The elevation of Jewish identity, considered as a national identity above any other form of social or collective grouping, is a central element of Zionist ideology. Its creature, the State of Israel, arrogates to itself the representation of all Jews in the world, seeing them as belonging to the state’s actual or potential population.   

C) Denying Jews the right to self-determination, for example, by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

IJAN: We do not consider the Zionist movement as a movement of emancipation, nor of national liberation. We do not recognize the Jews of the world as a national collective. The right to self-determination arises and applies to peoples oppressed by colonialism, which is not the case with Judaism. Even if the Jews of the world were thus oppressed, their right to self-determination could in no way be exercised at the expense of another people and in violation of international law.

We maintain that the Zionist movement and the State of Israel are founded on racism, discrimination and Jewish exclusivity. We maintain that a state, as an institution, can never be the object of discrimination, but merely of repudiation and criticism.

7.- Finally, the IHRA’s statement undermines the freedom of expression of those who question the State of Israel and Zionism.


CONTACTS: IJAN internacional twitter: @IJAN_network h

IJAN Argentina:


IJAN España:ña-160908247788078

Twitter: @IJANCastellano