Decision details

Notices of Motion

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


In accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, in addition to that debated at Minute No.C/72 above, a notice of motion had been put to Council by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, with regard to adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.


Councillor Archibald, in proposing the motion, expressed sadness at having to bring it to Council and horror in the fact that antisemitism still existed in this day and age.  He referred to the role played by Cumbria in 1945 and the wonderful reception provided when 300 child survivors of concentration camps were brought to Windermere to recouperate.  Councillor Archibald informed Council that the motion was to be seconded by a Member of the Labour Party and stressed that he had never witnessed any hint of antisemitism within that party.  He asked Members to unite together in condemning antisemitism.


Councillor David Webster expressed pride in seconding the motion, pointing out that he was not, nor ever had been, anti-Semitic or racist.


Councillor Matt Severn showed support for the motion, pointing out that the definition had been adopted by 130 councils in the country and also referred to Cumbria’s history, some residents whose grandparents had died during the Nazi régime.


Councillors Ben Berry and Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, also expressed support for the motion.


It was, subsequently, unanimously


RESOLVED – That, with regard to adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, Council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK.  This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes.  Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism;


We therefore welcome the UK Government’s support of the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:


‘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.’


The guidelines highlight manifestations of antisemitism as including:


·         ‘Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

·         Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

·         Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

·         Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

·         Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

·         Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

·         Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.’


Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations.


Council hereby adopts the above definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism.

Publication date: 11/03/2019

Date of decision: 26/02/2019

Decided at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council