Australian PM Signs London Declaration

April 26th, 2013

26th April 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard joins 125 legislators from more than 40 countries in signing the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.

(Photo © 2013 Henry Benjamin/JWire)

She is flanked by ECAJ President, Dr Danny Lamm (left) and ECAJ Executive Director Peter Wertheim AM (right). As witnesses in the back row are (L-R) President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Yair Miller, ECAJ Honorary Secretary, Jillian Segal AM, Federal Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus QC MP, and ECAJ Immediate Past President Robert Goot AM SC.

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism is a document that was drafted in 2009 and has now been signed by 125 parliamentarians from more than 40 countries from across the democratic world – a group known as the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. The document calls upon national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination. It requires governments to challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust and to encourage civil society to be vigilant to this phenomenon and to openly condemn it. It also requires governments to legislate against hate crimes and incitement to racial hatred – an especially important commitment given the calls from some quarters for a watering down of Australia’s existing laws against racial vilification. Most significantly, the London Declaration endorses the European Union Monitoring Commission’s working definition of antisemitism which acknowledges that some forms of rhetoric against Israel can and do cross the line into antisemitism. Governments are called upon to use this definition to inform national policy and media standards. This may be an important tool in any future racial vilification cases the ECAJ may need to pursue in the future.