at 17 Dec 2019 12:55
Dear supporters of the petition,
Here I would like to provide some background material on the IHRA "definition".
There is not much to object to the definition per se, except that it is imprecise and too broad.
Pragmatically, that was fine when it was introduced.
Indeed, its lack of precision and broad range was fully intended by its creator, Kenneth Stern. Its purpose was to be a "working definition": Stern wanted to give the police in the EU a framework about which misdemeanors and crimes might be anti-Semitic.
Kenneth Stern registers with shock and protest that this broad definition and especially its examples of application to Israel are now being used worldwide to restrict freedom of speech about Israel's policies, see recently  or more detailed .
As a definition, the IHRA working definition is, as already mentioned, imprecise and vague. (See the detailed criticism in Peter Ulrich's expertise [English version: 3] as well as the shorter criticisms of my co-initiators Georg Meggle and Norman Paech [4,5]). Its significance lies in the fact that, through a number of apparently arbitrarily arranged examples, it also places opposition to Israel's policies, partisanship for the Palestinians, and even an attitude based on peace and reconciliation of the conflict under the general suspicion of anti-Semitism (even towards Jewish people [6,7,8]) and thus has already justified prohibitions of speech in the eyes of its supporters ([6,7,8,9]). Actually, anti-Semitism may be defined precisely and comprehensively [here by Georg Meggle: 10], even though differentiated considerations are always appropriate for evaluating its actual presence instead of the quick shots widespread today .
In general, the climate created by politics through the propagation of the IHRA definition endangers the freedoms of opinion and assembly guaranteed by the German Basic Law. (S. decisions by the Higher Administrative Court Lüneburg and the Administrative Court Cologne, [12,13]). Especially at universities this may develop into endangering the freedom of research and teaching and the free discourse.
This well-intentioned resolution of the HRK shows in deplorable clarity: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Anti-Semitism cannot be combated by banning free speech about obvious injustice - the human rights violations committed by Israel's policies.
This has nothing at all to do with combating the Halle assassin’s sympathizers. Compare the furor with which the non-violent Palestinian resistance movement BDS (Boycott, Divestments, Sanctions against Israel) is fought in Germany on all levels and especially by "anti-Semitism commissioners" with the deafening silence on the Halle assassin’s ideological influencers. He justified his violent action against Jews with the fact that "the Jews" under the leadership of George Soros want to disintegrate the Occident with Muslim immigration and women's emancipation. This line of argument against Soros comes from Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and has already been used by Donald Trump. I happened to be in Budapest in July 2017 and, to my horror, saw the underground stations paved with posters commissioned by Orban showing a grinning George Soros, subtitled "Don't let him be the last to laugh" in Hungarian. The Halle assassin stuck by this ...