First Muslim Country to Join Fight Against Antisemitism

Albania adopts definition of Antisemitism of the “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance” (IHRA)

First Muslim Country to Join Fight Against Antisemitism
Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

The Muslim majority Albanian parliament has officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, and by doing so has become the first country with a Muslim majority to formally adopt the definition and pledge to combat anti-Semitism.

To date, thirty-four countries have adopted the international definition of anti-Semitism. The resolution passed without any objection with all members of the Albanian parliament voting in favor of its adoption.

The adoption of this definition is part of the joint activity of the Albanian government together with the “Combat Anti-Semitism Movement,” and with additional countries in the Balkans, this joint activity has culminated in the Balkan Anti-Semitism Forum which takes place next week. The forum aims to create a unified Balkan front to combat anti-Semitism. It will be attended by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich, and heads of the parliaments of Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Israeli Speaker of the Knesset Yariv Levin, IHRA Speaker Michaela Kushler, commissioners of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, and others. The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, a partner in the Balkan Forum and a board member of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, will present a certificate of appreciation to the Speaker of the Albanian Parliament for adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and for Albania’s commitment to the Jewish community over the years.

Chairman of the Albanian Parliament, Gramoz Ruçi: “Albania, which has suffered, along with the entire Balkans, from the dire consequences of ethnic and religious persecution, is today officially joining the fight against anti-Semitism. Albania has been one of the countries that has historically defended the Jews from persecution and even extermination, and we are proud of that. We are particularly proud that Albania was the only country in Europe that protected all the Jews who lived there during World War Two. Albania has always been, and always will be, a safe place for Jews.”

The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog: “I congratulate the Albanian government for the significant step it has taken in the fight against anti-Semitism. The adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is the most important and effective tool currently in place in the international arena to take practical action against the scourge of anti-Semitism. I congratulate the Prime Minister of Albania, my good friend Edi Rama, on this important decision, which came after he recently inaugurated an impressive monument in Tirana in memory of the Holocaust and in honor of the Righteous Among the Nations from among the Albanian people.

Robert Singer, a board member of the ‘Combat Anti-Semitism Movement: “We congratulate Albania on the adoption of the international definition of anti-Semitism and hope that it will be a catalyst for the adoption of the definition, and fight against anti-Semitism, in other Balkan and Muslim nations.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the adoption of the IHRA definition by the Albanian Parliament. The IHRA definition is an essential tool in the fight against the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi: “I welcome the initiative to hold a conference on anti-Semitism. Joining hands and cooperating between countries and peoples is key to dealing with this indecent phenomenon.”

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