Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022



Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. S.L. Game:

That this council:

1. Endorses and adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism together with its contemporary examples, which is: '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.'

2. Notes that this definition is to be understood in the contemporary examples given by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, such as:

(a) calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion;

(b) making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, 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;

(c) 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;

(d) denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (for example, 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);

(e) accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust;

(f) 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;

(g) denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, for example, by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour;

(h) applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;

(i) using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (for example, claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis;

(j) drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; and

(k) holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.

(Continued from 15 June 2022.)

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (16:35): Antisemitism has no place in our country or, indeed, anywhere. These racist and repugnant views should rightfully be condemned. I am proud that we live in a multicultural country where people of all faiths and backgrounds are celebrated and respected, and protected with strong legislative protections in place to prevent discrimination in all its forms. It is concerning that there are reports of antisemitism being on the rise in our community. On our side of the chamber we are understanding and appreciative of the sincere intent of this motion. Any measure that can help to fight against prejudice and intolerance towards anyone in our community should be carefully considered.

The motion seeks to endorse a definition of antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. I understand that this definition has been recognised and endorsed in a number of other jurisdictions, including interstate. I agree that a definition of antisemitism will have value in governments and individuals being able to identify and respond to antisemitic behaviours in our communities. On this basis, the government will be supporting this important motion.

The Hon. C. BONAROS (16:36): I rise to speak in opposition to this motion and indicate at the outset that I will also be moving to amend the motion at the conclusion of my contribution. On 26 May 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) made the decision to issue what it referred to as a non-legally-binding work definition of antisemitism, the words of which are replicated in the Hon. Sarah Game's motion.

My colleague the Hon. Frank Pangallo has a contribution of his own that he will be making as well, but for the record I indicate that SA-Best will not be supporting the motion, for the following reasons. The first reason is that the definition was not and was never intended to be drafted for political purposes. It was not designed to be used as a political tool, rather a tool for data collection in response to an increase in race hate crimes in Northern Europe. In his written testimony to the United States House of Representatives on 7 November 2017, US Attorney and former lead draftsperson for the American Jewish Committee Against Antisemitism, Kenneth S. Stern said:

The definition was drafted to make it easier for data collectors to know what to put in their reports and what to reject.

He went on to say that:

The definition was not drafted, and was never intended, as a tool to target or chill speech…

He likened the promotion of the definition to the opening of Pandora's box. Academics, legal experts and legal rights groups all over the globe have expressed similar concern, particularly in relation to the potential impact on freedom of expression which could restrict legitimate debate and criticism of Israel and Zionism. As world-renowned international law lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, AO, QC, explained:

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is not fit for any purpose that seeks to use it as an adjudicative standard.

It is imprecise, confusing and open to misinterpretation and even manipulation.

It does not cover some insidious forms of anti-Semitism.

It was originally drafted in the absence of any other decision as a tool for collecting data and is useful for purposes of discussion, but should not be used, or be used with great caution, as a measure for discipline or in ways that have consequences for political speech.

In the conclusion of an opinion that was given by Mr Robertson, after being asked by the Palestinian Return Centre to comment on the interpretation and impact on free speech of the government's acceptance in 2016 of an extended definition of antisemitism promulgated by IHRA, he states:

…for the reasons set out above, that:

1. The IHRA definition is not fit for any purpose that seeks to use it as an adjudicative standard.

He relays the stuff that I have said about being used only as a tool for collection of data and says:

3. The UK Government was wrong to adopt it without the 'caveat' recommended with reason by the Home Affairs Committee, namely:

'It is not anti-Semitic to criticise the government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.'

Any public body or other organisation (including the Labour Party) that is contemplating adoption of the IHRA definition in full should add this provision to it.

4. As a matter of internal construction, the examples appended to the IHRA core definition should be read as incorporating a) the fact that they 'could not' amount to anti-Semitism and b) in particular, unless they exhibited to reasonable people a hatred of Jewish people.

5. The Government's 'adoption' of the definition has no legal effect and does not oblige public bodies to take notice of it.

6. The definition should not be adopted, and certainly should not be applied, by public bodies unless they are clear about Article 10 of the EHCR which is binding upon them, namely that they cannot ban speech or write about Israel unless there is a real likelihood that it will lead to violence or disorder or race hated.

7. Universities and Colleges should be particularly careful about adopting or using the definition as they have a statutory duty to protect freedom of expression.

8. A particular problem with the IHRA definition is that it is likely in practice to chill free speech by raising expectations of pro-Israeli groups that they can successfully object to legitimate criticism [of their country] and correspondingly arouse fears in NGOs and student bodies that they will have events banned or else have to incur considerable expense to protect themselves by legal action. Either way, they may not organise such events.

9. Whether under human rights law or the IHRA definition, political action against Israel is not properly characterised as anti-Semitic unless the action is intended to promote hatred or hostility against Jews in general.

For the benefit of members, Geoffrey Robertson AO, QC is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers. He has appeared in many ground-breaking cases in criminal, constitutional and international law, and served as First President of the UN War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone and as a 'distinguished jurist member' of the UN's Justice Council. His books include a text on media law, Crimes Against Humanity—the Struggle for Global Justice and An Inconvenient Genocide—Who Now Remembers the Armenians. In December 2016, he lectured at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on the connection between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. I seek leave to table the entire opinion of Mr Robertson.

Leave granted.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: For the benefit of new members, and as a reminder to others, in May last year I introduced a motion in this place calling on us to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced.

As I said at the time, this is not about religion: this is about equal rights for everyone, regardless of their nationality, religion or race. I stand even firmer by those comments today. We are not defending antisemitism, and any suggestion that not supporting this motion results in that is frankly offensive, repugnant and simply untrue.

All racism is completely repugnant and unacceptable but, by the same token, we cannot support motions or actions that risk silencing the conversation about people suffering and about the suffering of Palestinian people—the Palestinian people who continue to live without basic human rights in an open-air prison with sweeping restrictions on movement.

For years, Palestinians have been living without proper sanitation. As I said at the time, the water supply in Gaza is unfit for human consumption and water pollution is the leading source of child mortality. Human Rights Watch summarised the dire situation in their report, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution, that I referred to in April last year. I quote:

About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, an area encompassing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the latter made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Throughout most of this area, Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule. Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the object of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Despite any best intentions, it is, with respect, my firm position that this motion will almost inevitably result in a division. As I said, in my firm and respectful view this is not about antisemitism, and simply calling for a division and showing which side of the chamber members land on, without context, should not be the focus of this debate. The very fact that we are here discussing this means that we need context.

While on the face of it the motion appears harmless, words matter and context matters. The words of this motion and the underlying messages and how they will be used, how they have been used and how they are perceived absolutely matter. As I said, this is not about choosing sides, regardless of what causes we support, it is about equal rights for all.

It is on that basis that I seek to move the amendment, which in my view offers a more balanced position on this issue. It is not just my opinion. The alternative has been prepared by stakeholders who not only reject antisemitism and all other forms of racial and religious discrimination and vilification but also see this as a matter of freedom of speech, with the ultimate goal of equality for all.

I think most members have now had the benefit of having seen the amendment. I appreciate that, given the events of this week, we were not sure whether this motion was actually going to be dealt with, so the timing is what it is in relation to that.

I said that words do matter, and I suppose the other thing that matters is when our inboxes suddenly become flooded with correspondence from members of the public who share concerns about the optics, the perceptions and the use of words. That has certainly been the case in relation to this motion. I am sure many of you would have received emails that highlight those same concerns. One I have received, which is effectively a pro forma email sent by individuals who have put their names to it, reads:

Dear members of the Legislative Council/Members,

A motion is to be debated on Wednesday 6 July 2022 in the South Australian Legislative Council for the House to endorse and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance…definition of antisemitism. I ask you to do all you can to oppose this motion.

The IHRA definition is deeply flawed, and existing laws more than adequately provide for protection for all Australians from all forms of discrimination, including from violence or incitement to violence, irrespective of its motivation. The effect of the definition, if adopted, would be to stifle legitimate debate over Israel and Palestine.

Deep concerns about how the definition is being adopted have been expressed widely, including by the key drafter Kenneth Stern—

who I referred to earlier—

who says 'I drafted the definition, right wing Jews are weaponising it.' It has also been opposed by Geoffrey Robertson AO QC—

whose work I have also referred to and tabled—

…progressive Jewish groups; Palestinian academics and human rights groups.

The reality of Israeli apartheid is clearer than ever, as evidenced in the recent detailed reports of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B'tselem, Harvard Law School and the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Palestine. It is therefore immoral and simply undemocratic to restrict legitimate debate on Israeli policies and practices under the cover of fighting antisemitism.

I strongly urge you to stand for the right to freedom of speech and to oppose this motion.

I will place on the record a handwritten and signed petition that we have also received, which reads—and I think this is important, because people sign these on the understanding that they will be tabled in this place and referred to:

Re. Israeli attempt to prevent scrutiny by labelling all criticism as 'antisemitic'

We, the undersigned, request that you do all in your power to prevent the South Australian Parliament from adopting the…IHRA…definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition has been used in other states and countries as the basis for legal action against any individuals or organisations who dared to criticise Israel's illegal, violent, unjust and punitive actions against the Palestinian people. We denounce racism and support freedom to express views opposing injustice wherever it occurs.

I also have—and I would like to place on the record—correspondence from Amnesty International, which is dated 29 June this year, and reads:

Amnesty International is the world's largest independent human rights organisation, with more than ten million supporters in over 160 countries. We promote and defend all human rights enshrined in international human rights law and standards. We are impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or religious belief and do not receive funding from governments or political parties.

It is in this context that I write to you ahead of a motion to adopt the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism within the South Australian Parliament.

While Amnesty takes no position on the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, we oppose Antisemitism and discrimination in all its forms. We continue to make clear that countries have an obligation to take effective steps to counteract stereotypes and societal prejudice, and exercise due diligence to protect members of the group concerned against any such abuses.

However, many have, and continue to use the wide ranging implications of the IHRA definition to label Amnesty an Antisemitic organisation, and in doing so delegitimise serious human rights violations.

Earlier this year Amnesty released its new report (attached), finding that Israel has—and continues to commit—the crime of Apartheid against Palestinians. These findings are supported by independent research conducted by Human Rights Watch and the UN Special Rapporteur.

It is imperative that legitimate and well-founded criticism of the Israeli state is not conflated with Antisemitism. I ask that you scrutinise this in your consideration on the adoption of the IHRA definition.

Amnesty goes on to note the author and so forth. That is the position that I take and that SA-Best takes on this issue. I think Amnesty has summarised the issues that we are dealing with here today very well. It is certainly my position, as I have said, that we will not be tied to something which on the face of it suggests antisemitism when there are so many underlying implications of it and it cannot be further from the truth in terms of its depiction.

I also will place on the record, and I will seek to table these three documents, the analysis of the motion by AFOPA. Can I say that is an organisation that I am extremely proud to be involved with. This has been provided by Paul Heywood-Smith QC:

As Patron of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association and its former Chairperson, I have been asked to comment upon the Honourable S.L. Game's motion submitted to the Legislative Council on 1 June and relating to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. With respect to the Honourable member, I comment as follows:

1. The IHRA definition has been the subject of controversy worldwide for a considerable time.

2. Anything said by the former Prime Minister on the issue, and the former Leader of the Opposition, are no more than political statements made to a particular audience for a particular purpose and do not carry any official status.

3. I refer to the analysis made by me in a paper, published in October 2021, attached.

4. I refer to a similar analysis made by Associate Professor Jake Lynch of the Peace and Conflict Studies Unit, University of Sydney, also attached.

5. The proposer points to adoption elsewhere, but such statistics are of limited assistance: the fact that 19 US States have adopted the definition suggests that 31 States have rejected it; the fact that 204 local government bodies in the UK have adopted it needs to be considered against the total number of local government bodies there are in the United Kingdom and how many have rejected it, etc.

6. South Australia must make its own decision, an informed decision, and not be led by NSW or Victoria.

7. No-one is seeking to defend antisemitism, which is clearly unacceptable, as is Islamophobia, indeed, any racism. However, criticism of Israel, or Zionism, is not antisemitism. To call out Israel for suffering a member of the IDF to murder a Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, is not antisemitism. To call out Israel for dispossession by ever-expanding illegal settlements, the forced eviction of Palestinians, and demolition of their homes, is not antisemitism. Indeed, a failure to call out Israel, or Zionism, for such conduct, would make us complicit. The fact that the New York based Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, two highly regarded institutions accuse Israel of creating an apartheid state, does not mean that either organisation is guilty of antisemitism.

8. Jewish students at the University of Adelaide are entitled to be upset over pro-Nazi posters, swastikas, etc. They are not entitled to be upset over for example:

"claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour"—definition (g), or

demanding that Israel comply with UN resolutions—definition (h), or

comparing Israel's ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem with Nazi policies—definition (j), or

holding the Jewish population in Israel responsible for that State's actions—definition (k).

9. One thing is absolutely clear, Jewish students at the University of Adelaide are no more entitled to be upset over criticism of Israeli actions than are Russian students over the criticism of the invasion of Ukraine, or Chinese students over criticisms of the Chinese government's treatment of Uighurs, or American students, over the US government's war against Iraq, or Afghanistan.

10. Passage of the subject motion would be portrayed by the Zionist lobby in Australia as proof of the legitimacy and correctness of the Israeli state in its dealings with its Arab citizens and Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Have no doubt.

I thank members of the Legislative Council for reading this note and taking it into account in their deliberations.

They are also views that I associate myself with.

Finally, the last document that I will quote from is by a former member of this place, the Hon. Sandra Kanck, who provided me with a document yesterday. I know many of you know Ms Kanck. She is someone I have a great deal of respect for not only as a very effective member of this place previously but more so because of the conviction with which she has advocated for worthy causes she believes in.

Even when we have not agreed in our political opinions, I have admired her courage, her passion and, perhaps more than anything else, the peaceful yet persuasive way she goes about championing these causes, her advocacy with the Australian Friends of Palestine included. When I read Ms Kanck's views on this motion, I was left with a view that, in many instances, we shared the same thoughts at the outset in relation to how we consider this issue. I will quote Ms Kanck's assessment of the motion at her request to read this onto the record:

You and I are the sort of people who turn out to rallies for refugees.

You and I are the sort of people who actively support human rights. Only last week I saw many of you at a rally protesting the treatment of Julian Assange.

You and I are the sort of people that condemn racism. So an outsider might assume you and I would support a motion condemning antisemitism. To the contrary.

It's because we are these sort of people, we're here today to protest the particular motion about antisemitism currently under consideration in the SA'n parliament.

The definition proposed for adoption by the South Australian parliament is one devised by the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (or IHRA).

It is a flawed definition because it singles out one group of people for special treatment.

This motion is specific to Israel and to Israel only. The motion moved by One Nation's Sarah Game—

and I am quoting, respectfully, for the honourable member—

gives Israel a 'get out of jail free' card.

The motion itself determines the ways in which we might be allowed to criticise Israel without finding ourselves labelled as antisemitic.

Those who uphold human rights criticise China for its treatment of the Uyghur people. No-one tells us a politically correct way to do it. What China is doing is morally wrong and deserves to be criticised.

Nor do we pull back from criticising Myanmar for its treatment of the Rohingya people.

So why should we pull back from criticising Israel for its treatment of Palestinians and carefully choose our words as dictated by IHRA?

Why should Israel be given this special exemption?

Let's look at some of what this definition says. It gives examples of what constitutes antisemitism.

For instance, anyone saying the existence of the state [of] Israel is a racist endeavour is being antisemitic.

Clearly this is aimed at silencing the critics who point to the many documented speeches and calls of numerous Israeli leaders for the suppression, even the destruction of Palestinian people.

Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policies to that of the [Neo] Nazis is another of the examples given in this definition as being antisemitic. Speaking the truth about Israeli actions will not be tolerated.

How many Palestinians have to be killed to allow that comparison? In the almost 75 years since Al Nakba or 'the catastrophe' of Israel assuming ownership of Palestinian land thousands of Palestinians have been killed. It's a slower catastrophe than the Holocaust. So if it's done slowly, is that okay?

How many Palestinian children as young as 12 being held in military prisons without trial, and without legal representation, will there have to be before it's okay to criticise Israel for doing it?

If we declare, as we do, that Israel's occupying forces were responsible for the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, will the IHRA motion give carte blanche to Zionists to label us as antisemitic? I'll bet you it will.

Whether or not it is what Sarah Game intends, it opens the way to vilify those who are active in the cause of Palestinian human rights.

Sarah Game is a scientist of sorts, she holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Sydney University, but she's failing to do what a good scientist does when conducting an experiment, which is to look at the unintended consequences.

Imagine a pharmaceutical company developing a new medicine and not noting or listing the side effects on its packaging. That's what Sarah Game is doing.

She claims the definition is not legally binding, but that is naive. What starts as optional can become compulsory.

In the UK, universities are being threatened with funding cuts if they don't adopt it into their constitutions.

In June 2015, an analysis carried out by the Rand Corporation said that if the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement, BDS, was maintained over a period of 10 years it could cost the Israeli economy $47 billion.

The IHRA antisemitism definition is a clever attempt to stop that happening, to shut down the BDS movement.

I have no doubt that Sarah Game is being used by the Israeli lobby to bring this about except she does not appear to realise it.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Bonaros, I know you are quoting from a document, but that document comes from a former member of this place, who knows well that Sarah Game needs to be addressed as the Hon. Sarah Game.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: That is why I respectfully said at the outset that—

The PRESIDENT: I have allowed it to this point, but the Hon. Sarah Game will be referred to as the Hon. Sarah Game.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: I addressed that issue at the outset when I said respectfully to the member I am quoting—

The PRESIDENT: I have given you an instruction.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: Thank you very much. Any other instructions you would like to give me?

The PRESIDENT: No. Move on.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: Thank you.

This motion was carried by stealth in Victoria and NSW. Fortunately, here in SA we were alerted to it and many of us have been lobbying our MPs to not support it.

It's a covert way of silencing criticism of Israel's ongoing actions against Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. And we must resist!

For the record, the point that I made when I started referencing this document is that the honourable member's name was to be referred to, but it was a direct quote, not my words.

My view in relation to the issue of Ms Kanck's assessment of how these motions are used and specifically on the issue of racism is that she is absolutely right. She and I and many people in this place are the sort of people who turn out to rallies for refugees. We are the sort of people who support human rights and condemn racism.

To be clear, I am not suggesting by any stretch of the imagination that the Hon. Sarah Game does not support those same causes wholeheartedly. In fact, during her second reading speech in this place, she made her views on those issues, as well as others, well known, and I have a great deal of respect for that. But I cannot, in the face of all the concerns that have been raised with us and the documents that I have referred to, support this motion, for the reasons I have already outlined.

Despite any good intentions, it is my view that this is a motion that ought not be supported. It is an imprecise, it is confusing, it is open to misinterpretation and it conflates issues that ought not be conflated unnecessarily. I move to amend the motion as follows:

Leave out paragraphs 1 and 2 and insert new paragraphs as follows:

1. Rejects antisemitism and all other forms of racial and religious discrimination;

2. Recognises the centrality of freedom of speech to Australian democracy, and that civil discourse is essential to preserve freedom of speech;

3. Acknowledges the right of all Australians to advocate and organise on behalf of causes both foreign and domestic in freedom and without fear;

4. Is concerned that claims or accusations against a group or individuals should always be weighed against facts and not preconceived notions;

5. Supports the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in equality, peace and security in Israel and Palestine;

6. Calls on the Australian government to actively promote measures to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and international law.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (17:09): I rise to speak on the motion of the Hon. Sarah Game. I will indicate from the outset, as my honourable colleague has already done, my deep concerns about adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and its 11 examples. I will give my reasons shortly. After doing extensive research on this sensitive and complex debate, as a journalist I always try to look at all sides of the argument and make a balanced judgement that is not clouded by emotion, bias or influence.

I will make it clear that I actually have never formally met with members of the Friends of Palestine or their advocates, or in fact representatives of the Jewish community. My views on this, and that I am not supporting it, are most certainly perhaps going to result in accusations against me as being antisemitic or racist. That could not be further from the truth. I abhor all forms of racism. I deplore the evil, hate, cruelty, suffering and genocide inflicted by the Nazis that claimed the lives of millions of innocent Jews during World War II. We must never allow anything as vile as that to happen again, whether it is to Jews or others subjected to oppressive treatment because of their beliefs, the colour of their skin or their origins.

As a teenager from an impoverished European background, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I experienced racism, relentless taunts and beatings in the schoolyard and on my way home. 'Wog' is a hurtful three-letter slur. My friends were subjected to it, and waves of migrants to this country have endured it. Indigenous First Nations people here continue to be subjected to racism. I say bring on the Voice.

As for this motion, I am not so sure that many in this place will have taken the time to seek some clarity and consider the possible implications, particularly the chilling risk to limiting the freedom of expression in criticism of Israel and discussing the violation of the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories, should the IHRA definition be widely adopted—not just by governments but also local government, tertiary institutions and other community groups and organisations. I will note, and I stand to be corrected, that I could only find 11 countries that have adopted it. Although I stand to be corrected, as I said, I note that Australia was a signatory last year, and also the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

We live in a democracy and we must value and defend our freedom of expression highly, not allow it to be eroded or threatened by persuasive forces with specific agendas. In this country we already have strong and effective laws against discrimination and racism. Antisemitism is not excluded. There are hundreds of academics, legal minds and interest groups—many of them, I will point out, who are Jewish—who have expressed their reservations about the intent, deliberate or inadvertent, of adopting the IHRA definition with the 11 examples attached, seven of which directly relate to Israel.

I will endorse the Hon. Sarah Game's impassioned plea against antisemitism and the need to address the rise of that sentiment, particularly among extreme right wing groups and white supremacists. However, the honourable member's presentation to this chamber was, in my view, unbalanced, and fell well short of presenting a compelling case for all of you to contemplate when you consider your vote.

It lacked substance. I saw no mention of the criticisms and the flaws that have been recognised by hundreds of academics and legal experts on both sides of the debate, who have pored over it and have argued that it is incoherent, vague, vulnerable to political abuse and not fit for purpose, or how its structure was later manipulated and misrepresented by the IHRA's committee on antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

I sincerely hope the honourable member has not been misled, but there are serious problems with this and it has been acknowledged by people with far more expertise in these matters, and far more intelligent than me.

The Hon. T.A. Franks: Surely not!

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: Surely there are, I will make that concession, the Hon. Ms Franks. 'The Politics of a Definition' is an explosive report by a University of Oxford PhD scholar, Jamie Stern-Weiner, and published in April 2021. It meticulously picks apart the origins of the IHRA working definition. Mr Stern-Weiner's investigations have concluded that the IHRA has misrepresented the truth about a key decision by its own plenary, its member countries, at a meeting in Bucharest in May 2016. The plenary, Mr Stern-Weiner explains, with irrefutable evidentiary material, reached a consensus with the opening two sentences, and I will quote them:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews which may be pressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

However, there was no consensus within the IHRA for including the examples in its working definition. Mr Stern-Weiner says that, on the contrary, the IHRA's decision-making body excluded all the examples from the working definition it adopted when it split the original draft in two, after objections from several member countries to the examples. In other words, those 11 examples, as we see in this motion, were separated from the working definition in a revised text and were to be merely used as examples, guides.

Mr Stern-Weiner rejects as untrue the IHRA working definition with those 11 examples, as reflected in an international consensus of antisemitism experts. He says his research has revealed there was no expert consensus. The IHRA's decision-making body, the plenary, did not adopt any examples of antisemitism as part of the definition. The IHRA's permanent office refuses to answer or put up proof of the claims it has made repeatedly that the plenary endorsed the examples.

Senior IHRA officials and pro-Israeli groups have misrepresented the IHRA plenary's decision in order to smuggle into the working definition examples that can be used to protect Israel from legitimate criticism. He goes on that these examples have been used in practice to censor Israel's critics. Allow me to read excerpts from it. I will start from a foreword by Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, Avi Shlaim, who is Jewish. He states:

What is touted as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism is not a definition, has little to do with antisemitism, and was neither written nor endorsed by IHRA. Such are the findings of this meticulously researched and poetically explosive report.

Scholars and legal experts have convincingly argued that the IHRA's definition is incoherent, vague, vulnerable to political abuse, and not fit for purpose. It fails to meet the most elementary requirement of a definition, which is to define. The decisive role of pro-Israel advocacy groups in drafting and promoting the definition has also been established.

This remarkable report reinforces these conclusions. But it also breaks important new ground. Expert criticism and political controversy have focused on a list of 11 highly problematic examples of purportedly antisemitic statements and behaviours. Seven of these 11 examples relate to Israel. All of these examples, according to Israel supporters, formed an integral part of the IHRA definition.

The report slows that IHRA's decision-making body, the Plenary, in fact decided to exclude all of these examples from its definition. The IHRA definition includes no examples. If there is widespread confusion about this, it is because champions of the examples within and outside IHRA have systematically and methodically misrepresented the Plenary's decision.

The examples, falsely represented as part of the IHRA definition, have been used to delegitimise and censor legitimate criticism of Israel and, more broadly, to curtail free speech on Israel. This shields Israel from accountability for its serious human rights abuses, which consequently continue unchecked.

Meanwhile, the participation of even some IHRA officials in this misinformation campaign compromises the reputation of that organisation. The sad truth is that these officials have been complicit in a deliberate effort to conflate criticism of Israel policies with antisemitism. IHRA's core mandate—Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism—remains as important as ever, given the surge of ultra-right populism in Europe and elsewhere. To recover its moral authority IHRA needs to set the record straight on its confused and confusing definition.

Jamie Stern-Weiner's report demonstrates in irrefutable detail how a definition intended to protect Jews against antisemitism was twisted to protect the State of Israel against valid criticisms that have nothing to do with anti-Jewish racism.

The Politics of a Definition tells for the first time the untold story behind the IHRA definition. It is not only a fascinating chapter of diplomatic history but it also speaks truth to power. It is therefore of urgent policy relevance. It deserves the widest possible readership, especially among policy-makers—

which is what we are. It continues:

The report ought to lead any government or organisation that is considering the adoption of the IHRA definition to think again and those who have already signed on to it to reverse their decision.

That was by Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford, on 22 April 2021. I would like to read the executive summary of that report, which has been written by the author:

It has been claimed that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, 'including its 11 examples', reflects an international consensus of antisemitism experts. This report, based on my doctoral research at the University of Oxford, exposes that claim as untrue:

1. There is no expert consensus supporting the Working Definition.

2. IHRA's decision-making body, the Plenary, did not adopt any examples of 'antisemitism' as part of its Working Definition.

3. Senior IHRA officials and pro-Israel groups have misrepresented the IHRA Plenary's decision in order to smuggle into the Working Definition examples that can be used to protect Israel from criticism.

4. These examples have been used, in practice, to censor Israel's critics.

Under the heading of 'There is no expert consensus supporting the Working Definition of Antisemitism' the author goes on to say:

The Working Definition was principally drafted and negotiated by pro-Israel advocacy groups, not scholars of Jewish history. The initial drafting and negotiation of the Working Definition in 2004-5 was led by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). From early 2014 to May 2016, Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) engineered its adoption by IHRA.

Both the AJC and SWC are interested, partisan organisations. They engage, inter alia, in blanket pro-Israel advocacy. The AJC promoted Israel's line on Operation Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report, the Free Gaza flotilla, Operation Protective Edge and UN Security Council Resolution 2334 reaffirming the illegality of Israel's settlements. Even where it disapproves of Israeli Government policy, the AJC pledged in 2020, 'the AJC will do what it has always done: explain Israel to the wider world...We will always be their advocates'. The SWC has urged Israel to 'reject a return' to its pre-June 1967 'Auschwitz borders' and described European Union (EU) guidelines prohibiting the funding of Israeli institutions established unlawfully in Occupied Palestinian Territory as 'redolent of the 1930's Nazi boycott of the Jews throughout the Reich…which was the prelude to the Holocaust'.

In the course of this advocacy, both the AJC and SWC have conflated legitimate criticism of Israel with antisemitism. The AJC applies the 'antisemitism' epithet to 'anti-Zionism' as well as the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. For its part, the SWC in 2018 ranked among the world's most egregious 'anti-semitic incidents' a decision by Airbnb to delist Israeli rental properties located in Occupied Palestinian Territory and a German bank's refusal to cut-off a Jewish peace group. Its 2016 review branded UNSC Resolution 2334 the world's 'Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incident'. And when the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court ruled that it had territorial jurisdiction in Palestine, in February 2021, the SWC charged this—

and I quote—

'kangaroo court' with 'anti-Semitism'.

While the AJC and SWC were the principal drafters and promoters of the Working Definition, they were not objective experts on antisemitism. Meanwhile, academic as well as legal experts broadly agree that the IHRA Working Definition is imprecise, partial and open to political abuse.

There is no IHRA consensus for including any examples in the Working Definition of Antisemitism.

In May 2016, IHRA’s general Plenary in Bucharest adopted by consensus a document comprising two distinct parts: a two-sentence working definition of antisemitism and a list of 11 examples of potentially antisemitic statements and behaviours.

This document, in its entirety, has been inaccurately referred to as the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

International, national and civil society bodies have been urged to adopt this so-called IHRA Working Definition on the basis that it reflects a hard-won consensus among IHRA’s Member Countries:

'The significance of this definition lies in the international cooperation that led to it…[I]t was unanimously approved by government representatives from all IHRA Member Countries. Gaining this level of international consensus was no easy feat…Any "modified" version of the IHRA definition that does not include all of its 11 examples is no longer the IHRA definition. (Seven UK delegates to IHRA, August 2018)'

But in reality, there was no consensus within IHRA for including the examples in its Working Definition. On the contrary, IHRA’s decision-making body excluded all the examples from the Working Definition it adopted.

The SWC had presented IHRA with a draft text that did not clearly distinguish between the two-sentence definition and the 11 examples. But after a number of IHRA Member Countries objected to the examples, a revised text was adopted in which the examples had been separated from the Working Definition.

An Ambassador who participated in these negotiations testified that IHRA consensus was achieved only when:

'the original draft text was cut into two, and only the first two-sentence part was to be the working-definition to be adopted, while the other part, the examples, remained what they were: examples to serve as illustrations, to guide the IHRA in its work'.

A second delegation head who attended the May 2016 Plenary corroborated this account. Two other members of delegations from different countries also confirmed their understanding that the IHRA Working Definition comprised only a two-sentence passage without any examples.

IHRA’s press release about the adoption clearly distinguished the Working Definition from the illustrative examples by printing the two-sentence definition in a distinct typeface and demarcating it in a box. Germany followed this same distinction in September 2017, when it adopted an ‘extended version’ of the IHRA definition that incorporated none of the examples. IHRA publicly recognised this as an adoption of its Working Definition.

Pro-Israel groups do not value the Working Definition but prize the examples that protect Israel from legitimate criticism.

The IHRA Working Definition reads in full:

'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.'

Pro-Israel activists attach little value to this definition, which they consider 'neutered, [and]…unmoored from any current reality'.

That was what the Simon Wiesenthal Center remarked. The author continues:

What pro-Israel activists deem 'essential' is 'the list of examples'—

this is from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs—

which the AJC goes so far as to designate the real definition: 'essentially the definition is the examples'.

This is because fully seven of the 11 examples relate to Israel. They include criteria which can be used to stigmatise and stifle legitimate criticism of Israel, such as calling Israel a 'racist endeavour' or '[a]pplying double standards' to it.

Such instrumentalization is not a theoretical prospect. The examples have been used, in practice, to delegitimise everything from reports by leading human rights organisations (including Israeli human rights organisations) to the EU's decision to accurately label imports from Israel's illegal settlements.

Under the heading of 'Supporters of the examples have misrepresented their status', the author goes on to state:

Supporters of the examples have misrepresented their status in respect of IHRA's definition. IHRA Member Countries were able to reach consensus only by excluding the examples from the Working Definition. The examples' supporters have falsely claimed that there was a consensus for including them.

In May 2018, IHRA's Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial unilaterally proclaimed that 'the definition and the examples constituted the full definition, and that the subject was not open to further discussion'.

The IHRA's Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial unilaterally proclaimed that 'the definition and the examples constituted the full definition, and that the subject was not open to further discussion'. The author continues:

This was prompted by Mark Weitzman, its former Chair and the SWC's Director of Government Affairs.

But the Antisemitism Committee had, and has, no authority to rewrite or override a decision of the IHRA Plenary, while the IHRA Plenary has neither revisited nor revised its 2016 decision.

The SWC must know that IHRA's Plenary decided, after heated debate, to exclude the examples from its definition. But the SWC still falsely asserts that the 'IHRA Working Definition…consists of a clear definition of antisemitism along with specific examples'.

Even as IHRA's core mandate is to preserve historical truth, IHRA's own Permanent Office has participated in this misinformation campaign. The IHRA website incorrectly states that the 'Working Definition, including its examples, was reviewed and decided upon unanimously during IHRA's Bucharest Plenary in May 2016.' In June 2020, IHRA's Chair stated:

'When IHRA member countries agreed to the text of the working definition, they adopted it in its entirety—the text inside the box, and the examples included. So that means, each Member Country stands behind the text of the working definition in its entirety—the text inside the box, and the examples included.'

The author of this report says:

This inaccurate claim was repeated in a Handbook co-published in January 2021 by IHRA and the European Commission.

These assertions are refuted by the documentary record. In fact, IHRA's Plenary excluded the examples from the Working Definition while multiple IHRA Member Countries have since reiterated and reaffirmed this distinction.

It cannot plausibly be suggested that the misrepresentations sampled here were wholly accidental. In the course of an extended written exchange, IHRA's Permanent Office was repeatedly asked whether, as its spokespeople and publications have repeatedly alleged, IHRA's May 2016 Plenary endorsed the 11 examples as part of the IHRA Working Definition. Up to the present day, IHRA has refused to answer this question.

Under a heading 'The examples have been used to censor legitimate criticism of Israel', the author of the report then says:

The list of 11 examples, misrepresented as the IHRA Working Definition, has repeatedly been used and promoted as a tool for censorship.

In the UK, multiple universities and at least one local council cancelled events because they might breach one or another example. The definition's 'architect' did not object but, on the contrary, applauded the censorship as a possible 'turning point in the struggle to curb the demonisation of the Jewish state at universities'.

In 2018, the British Labour Party was pressured into incorporating all 11 examples into its Code of Conduct. The result? When Israel's leading human rights organisation published a position paper on Israel's 'apartheid regime', Labour members were forbidden from discussing it because doing so might infringe an IHRA example.

So much for it being non-binding. It continues:

Going forwards, an international coalition of Jewish organisations along with Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs is calling on social media platforms to use the list of examples to regulate content.

Pro-Israel groups are lobbying governments to condition NGO funding upon adherence to the examples. The European Commission's IHRA Handbook recommends that the EU and member States introduce such funding conditionality.

These initiatives have falsely depicted the examples as part of the IHRA Working Definition, thereby mobilising IHRA's moral authority behind an assault on free speech. In truth, IHRA's decision-making body excluded the examples from the Working Definition.

Each and all of the claims by Israel's advocates to foist the IHRA definition on the international community are demonstrably false.

That was the executive summary from that report. As I said, it is titled 'The Politics of a Definition'. It was researched by Jamie Stern-Weiner from Wolfson College at the University of Oxford and was published by Free Speech on Israel in April 2021. I am not going to go through the entire document, but I will seek leave to table it as part of my presentation here today.

The PRESIDENT: Is leave granted?

The Hon. R.A. Simms: Yes.

Leave granted.

The PRESIDENT: Thanks for your encouragement, Mr Simms. That is excellent.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I know it is the subject of much mirth in here, but this is actually quite a serious issue that we are tackling. The honourable member brought it here with really good intent, and I think we should respect that. I would urge members to have a look and read that. It is a pity they will not be able to do that before the vote will be taken on this. There are other documents I will refer to later. As Mr Stern-Weiner says in the closing remarks of his report:

It is deeply regrettable that an organisation committed to Holocaust remembrance would misrepresent the historical record in order to shield Israel from accountability for its egregious human rights violations.

I would like to equate that to a comment from Australian investigative journalist Peter Greste, who is a strong advocate for freedom of expression and freedom of the press. He said:

Playing the racism card is a cynical way of misdirecting attention from uncomfortable journalism to the journalists themselves and ultimately undermines the value of good reporting and debate.

Numerous papers written by experts on the IHRA definition can be sourced online. The majority have found serious faults with it, like a report commissioned by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and medico international e.V. written by Dr Peter Ullrich from Berlin Technische University, who is a fellow at the Center for Research on Antisemitism. I will just read his executive summary from the report entitled, 'Expert opinion on the "working definition of antisemitism" of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance':

…a closer examination also reveals severe deficits. In particular, the 'Working Definition' is inconsistent, contradictory and formulated very vaguely. It therefore does not satisfy the requirements of a good definition. Moreover, the core definition of antisemitism is reductionist. It emphasizes some antisemitic phenomena and levels of analysis but largely omits other essential ones. This applies in particular to ideological and discursive aspects, for example antisemitism as a conspiracist worldview. Aspects of organizational sociology related to mobilization in movements and political parties as well as their consequences in discriminatory institutional regulations and practices are also not mentioned. Moreover, some of the examples related to Israel appended to the core definition can only be classified as antisemitic within context using further information, as what is described is ambiguous and occurs in complex, overlapping constellations of conflicts, which often do not readily allow singling out one specific problem such as antisemitism. An example is afforded by the so-called double standards. They are not sufficient criteria for distinguishing an antisemitic focus on Israel from one related to the specific features of Israeli policies and their geopolitical significance.

As a consequence, the 'Working Definition' is conducive to contradictory and error-prone application in practice and leads to assessments of incidents and facts that are not based on clear criteria but on the preconceptions of those applying it or on prevalent interpretations adopted without reflection. Applying the 'Working Definition' creates the fiction of an objective assessment guided by criteria. The definition provides procedural legitimacy for decisions that are in fact taken on the basis of other criteria that remain implicit and are specified neither in the definition nor in the examples.

The author of this report, Dr Ullrich, then goes on to say:

The weaknesses of the 'Working Definition' are the gateway to its political instrumentalization, for instance for morally discrediting opposing positions in the Arab-Israeli conflict with the accusation of antisemitism. This has relevant implications for fundamental rights. The increasing implementation of the 'Working Definition' as a quasi-legal basis for administrative action promises regulatory potential. In fact, it is instead an instrument that all but invites arbitrariness. It can be used to abridge fundamental rights particularly freedom of speech with respect to disfavoured positions on Israel. In contrast to what the designation 'Working Definition' suggests, no further development of the definition to rectify these weaknesses is occurring.

The bottom line is that the attempt to solve problems of general conceptual clarification and universal applicability by means of the 'Working Definition of Antisemitism' must be seen to have failed. Mainly due to its technical weaknesses, the deficient practice of its application, its nevertheless partly binding legal status and its potential for political instrumentalization with problematic implications for freedom of speech, the use of the 'Working Definition of Antisemitism' cannot be recommended. A potential exception could only lie in narrowly defined pedagogical contexts. As the genesis of the 'Working Definition of Antisemitism' and its wide dissemination indicate, there is—not least in view of the persisting threat from current antisemitism—a great need on the part of various institutions for practicable criteria for identifying antisemitic phenomena. The development of clear and context-specific instruments for practical application is therefore urgently recommended.

Again, this is a paper that I would strongly recommend that members do read. I seek leave to table that report on this working definition by a very esteemed academic.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: Rather than be used in a hypothetical sense, those examples in the definition, as we have already heard from experts, have been weaponised to intimidate, silence and de-legitimise reports by leading human rights organisations, including Israel's human rights organisations, and individuals and academics, like a Toronto school board teacher who found himself suspended after emailing colleagues research on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which allegedly violated the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Allow me to read from this article entitled 'Anti-racism and the IHRA definition' by Paul Weinberg, who is Jewish, and published in Canada's Independent Jewish Voices on 9 May 2022. The document reads as such:

A Toronto District School Board employee found himself under fire after emailing his colleagues research on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which allegedly violated the IHRA definition of anti-semitism.

It theoretically recognises that context matters, in the sense that particular situations influence whether a certain utterance or action may be considered antisemitic or not. Still, Palestinians, the Palestinian solidarity movement and all progressives are urged to—in fact, that is not the one I want to read. That will be following.

This is an excerpt from the article on the Toronto District School Board employee by the name of Javier Dávila. It goes on to say:

Antiracism or equity education in schools, corporations and government institutions did not begin with the killing of George Floyd and the rallies and protests inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, but the events of that year help to encourage and expand this kind of instruction and make it increasingly relevant.

Not surprisingly, there is also a backlash, the so-called Woke culture is denounced in France while US teachers can be fired in some states if they discuss slavery, white privilege, anti-black racism and gender identity in classrooms. Legislators in the National Assembly in Quebec are planning to allow the utterance of the 'N' word by university professors. What is happening in anti-racism work across Canada is difficult to gauge. Its activity is fragmented and one has to pierce beneath the rhetoric of educational institutions.

The tumultuous events in Toronto last year laid bare the pressures faced by anti-racism educators and activists. On paper the Toronto District School Board has strong equity policies but its adoption in 2018 of the IHRA threatens to undermine them. The definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is the accepted working definition for various national governments, including Canada, as well as in some provincial and municipal jurisdictions.

The origins of the IHRA remain controversial. It is not universally accepted by all international scholars. Starting in 2016, it has become a tool by which Israel seeks to counter an international boycott, sanctions and divestment movement on the part of groups seeking to draw attention to war crimes and international law violations committed against the Palestinian populations in Israel and the occupied territories. Seven out of 11 examples of antisemitism in the IHRA definition involve critical comments about Israel.

One major Canadian historian who the author interviewed is not too worried about the IHRA because the measure is not legally binding in Canada. Nobody in this country calling for Palestinian rights is going to be charged and hauled up before a court. Furthermore, there are no criminal penalties hovering over BDS advocacy as has been the case in France or some US states, so a McCarthyite witch-hunt is not in the works; yet, even in its aspirational form, the IHRA can still intimidate and silence.

I have interviewed two teachers at the Toronto School Board about equity or anti-racism instruction and both feel compromised pedagogically by the board's adoption of the IHRA definition. Both want to remain anonymous because they fear reprisals from their employer. The first teacher said there is no problem giving lessons on settler colonialism in Canada, Indigenous rights, land back and systemic racism within the Toronto school system. It is quite another matter to draw parallels between the European settlement of Canada and the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. In the latter situation, indigenous Palestinians were uprooted and expelled from the new Jewish state in the course of and following the 1947-48 war, and their empty properties were made available for incoming, post World War II refugees from Europe.

There is an accepted wisdom in the Palestinian community that the Nakba, which is Arabic for disaster or catastrophe, continues today. When we are talking about who is censoring these conversations there has to be permission to centre Palestinian truths, narratives and perspectives and history. If the Nakba cannot be spoken of without being subsumed under the speech of antisemitism then we are left with no language—

the first teacher says—

Whatever an instructor says publicly before students or on social media has consequences. Say the wrong word and parents, right wing columnists, various Israel lobby organisations and opportunistic politicians are ready to pounce like the vengeful furies of ancient Greek mythology. This is what happened to Javier Davila. For about 15 years the TDSB student equity program adviser had emailed—

The PRESIDENT: I would like you to seek leave to conclude your remarks because we are approaching the time of the dinner break. Please seek leave to conclude your remarks and you can continue after dinner.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I seek leave to conclude my remarks after the dinner break.

Sitting suspended from 18:00 to 19:45.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I will not take too long as I know that some members are getting a bit tetchy in here. I will go back to the document I was reading by Paul Weinberg, who is Jewish, and was published in the Canadian Independent Jewish Voices on 9 May 2022. He was telling us what had happened to Javier Dávila. For about 15 years, the TDSB student equity program adviser had emailed batches of background material on complex equity subjects from an anti-oppression perspective that teachers may have wanted to raise in class.

In May 2021, violence in Israel and the occupied territories erupted and culminated in the bombing of Gaza and Jewish settler attacks on Arab Israelis in mixed towns in Israel within the green line. To make sense of the escalation of violence, Dávila emailed two large batches containing a diverse number of Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian sources. The aim was to provide insights from moderate and radical voices. It did not mean that the student equity program adviser necessarily agreed with all the perspectives, notwithstanding his sympathy for the Palestinian plight.

Apparently, the student equity program adviser was then later temporarily suspended and investigated in the spring of 2021 by the Toronto District School Board after a complaint by a columnist in the Toronto Sun, Sue-Anne Levy, with regard to the internal mailouts containing Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian voices, which she described as virulently anti-Israel.

I will wind up from that article, just to say that the mail-outs were not distributed to a broad audience, they were aimed to a little over 1,000 educators and administrators within the TDSB, with the expertise to sift through the material and determine what might be relevant for class. Despite all this, Mr Dávila was suspended and investigated. He garnered a lot of sympathy from former students, parents, teachers, unions and Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), and a petition containing 5,000 signatures circulated in support.

The suspension turned out to be temporary and Mr Dávila found himself reinstated in the summer. Vindication also came from the TDSB's independent integrity commissioner. Still in progress, there are complaints from other bodies against them, and Mr Dávila is also suing some of those, but the upshot of it is that the whole episode disrupted Mr Dávila's life. He is currently on medical leave and not available for interviews, and his lawyers have provided details of why their client is taking legal action. That gives you another indication of where the use of the definition can be weaponised and damage a person's reputation and standing. It is then a long road to recover that damaged reputation. I seek leave to table the entirety of that document that I have just read from.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: Another example, an alternative to the IHRA's definition of antisemitism is the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism. The JDA, like the other, is not a perfect document and has attracted some criticism but it has received endorsement from hundreds of scholars, legal experts and a broad range of interest groups with an underlying interest in combating antisemitism. One of those is Barry Trachtenberg, Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University and author of The Holocaust & the Exile of Yiddish and The United States and the Nazi Holocaust: Race, Refuge, and Remembrance. He is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council.

He actually assisted in the drafting and is a signatory to the JDA and says that there has been widespread abuse of the flawed IHRA and that it needs outright replacement. Here is a little of what he had to say in an article titled 'Why I signed the Jerusalem declaration on antisemitism' and it was published in JewishCurrents in March 2021. I will just read a couple of paragraphs from that where he says:

As the result of more than a year of conversations by an international group of scholars from the fields of antisemitism, Jewish, Holocaust and Middle East studies, the JDA is a vast improvement on the IHRA definition. While it is not a perfect document, and has indeed already been subject to important criticisms from those who argue, among other points, that it doesn't go far enough to unseat the IHRA definition, the JDA has the potential to make a significant impact both in countering antisemitism and in preventing critics of Israel and Zionism from being smeared as antisemites.

…the JDA repudiates notions of Jewish exceptionalism by locating antisemitism squarely as an ideology of hatred that is equivalent to and as pernicious as racism. The JDA's first guideline states unequivocally that, 'It is racist to essentialize (treat a character trait as inherent) or to make sweeping negative generalisations about a given population. What is true of racism in general is true of antisemitism in particular.' By drawing this comparison with racism, the JDA pushes back against the misguided belief about antisemitism that it is a unique and unparalleled form of hatred, as exceptional as Jews themselves. Not only does this belief strip anti-Jewish hatred from its historical context and make it much harder to combat, it gives rise to the notion that antisemitism is a permanent, almost natural, feature of our world and thus cannot be undone.

He goes on to say:

…the damage done by the IHRA definition of antisemitism is profound. It has restricted reasonable debates about Israel and done nothing to lessen antisemitism.

He goes on to say:

It must be stopped in its tracks.

This is the comment from another acknowledged scholar, very well respected and a Jew himself. I seek leave to table the comments from Dr Barry Trachtenberg, some of which I have read out.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: Finally, and as has been mentioned by my colleague—

The PRESIDENT: Did you say 'finally'?

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: No, not yet.

The PRESIDENT: Sorry, I thought you said 'finally'.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I am just winding up, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT: You are winding me up; thank you.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I had already been wound up before coming here, Mr President. There is a significant report of Amnesty International, which my colleague the Hon. Connie Bonaros referred to in her presentation. Like my colleague, I also received a letter from Sam Klintworth, the National Director of Amnesty International Australia. The Hon. Ms Bonaros has tabled that letter, so there is no need for me to table it.

With the letter, I received the report from Amnesty International that found that Israel has committed, and continues to commit, the crime of apartheid against Palestinians. This is supported by independent research that was conducted by Human Rights Watch and the UN special rapporteur.

Despite the extensive work that has gone into this report by highly accredited bodies, such as Amnesty International and the UN—a lot of which has been detailed and referenced; the report is more than 200 pages—and despite the evidence that has been presented, it has been condemned as antisemitic. Again, it indicates the volatility of this debate. I will not put members through my reading the 230-odd pages, but I do wish to table the report in order for people to be able to read it.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Pangallo, if it is a public document perhaps you could refer to the link to it.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: It will not be public, and it will be very difficult to find, so I would prefer to ask that it be tabled.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: As I was saying, the extent of the work that has gone into this report is quite comprehensive, and for it to be dismissed in such a way is quite offensive. We know that Amnesty International is the world's largest independent human rights organisation, with more than 10 million supporters in over 160 countries. It is a defender of human rights and is impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or religious belief and does not receive any funding from governments or political parties. However, sadly, the major political parties in this country virtually refuse to acknowledge the existence of this report. Also, some within those parties condemn its use of the term 'apartheid'.

The international community is working extremely hard to come to a resolution in one of the most complex political disputes in world history: the antagonism towards the Jewish state by its hostile neighbours. Many have tried and failed to get to a satisfactory resolution, but there are many on both sides who want to achieve a peace the world can live with, a lasting peace that Israel and the Palestinians can live with and a peace that its neighbours can live with.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (19:58): I rise to speak in support of the alternative motion moved by the Hon. Connie Bonaros. In so doing, I want to reference some of the comments made by my crossbench colleagues, the Hon. Connie Bonaros and the Hon. Frank Pangallo. The Greens share many of the concerns that have been outlined by the Hon. Mr Pangallo and the Hon. Connie Bonaros, and we do not support the original motion being moved by the Hon. Sarah Game.

The reasons for the Greens' position were outlined by my colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks in this place during the last sitting period, and I do not intend to prosecute those arguments again. The only thing I would draw the chamber's attention to is the longstanding concern of the Greens around prohibiting all forms of racial or religious discrimination.

Indeed, my colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks introduced a bill, which was supported by the then Marshall government into the last parliament, that made hate crimes a crime in South Australia, that is, crimes that are motivated by bias, prejudice or hostility towards a victim based on their particular characteristics, such as race, gender, sexuality or gender identity, and the application of appropriate penalties in relation to those crimes.

That underscores the view of the Greens and, indeed, of other political parties around the importance of preventing the vilification of people on the basis of race or their religion, or other characteristics for that matter. As I say, we are supportive of the amendment put forward by the Hon. Connie Bonaros. We think this is a much more appropriate statement for this parliament to adopt, and we are advocating for other political parties to favourably consider that amendment over the substantive motion.

The Hon. S.L. GAME (20:00): I feel proud and privileged to have put forward this motion because it is the right thing to do, morally and ethically, and that has been my only influence. I want to thank Dr David Adler, President of the Australian Jewish Association, for bringing the importance of this motion to my attention and for his tireless advocacy of the motion. I thank Dr Adler for his enthusiastic, positive collaboration with members of the Jewish community in Adelaide, including members of the Jewish Community Council and the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation.

I thank Mr Norman Schueler OAM, past president of the Jewish Community Council and immediate past chair of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, for his presence here today, his support, advice and relentless advocacy in the community for the passing of this motion. I know how hard he worked to assist in bringing this motion to resolution, and I am sure everyone in this chamber acknowledges Mr Schueler's continued advocacy for cultural and faith groups in South Australia.

I thank members of the Beit Shalom Synagogue, Jewish students at the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia and other leaders in the South Australian Jewish community for their direct support and encouragement to progress this. I thank the Liberal Party for their immediate and full support of this motion. In particular, I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition in the other place for his declaration of public support for the IHRA motion in full and unamended.

I want to note that this debate takes place in an atmosphere of rising antisemitism around the world. The Antidefamation League, which collects and collates antisemitic incidents in the United States, recorded a record high in 2021. The Community Security Index Group, which collates and collects information on antisemitic incidents in Australia, recorded an increase of almost 40 per cent last year. Research shows that antisemitism is increasing across Europe.

The hesitation, and in some cases refusal, from other parties to support this motion has been confusing and disappointing, especially considering the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and the obvious necessity for administrators and governments at all levels to have the framework in which to identify antisemitism in South Australia. It has always been made clear that legitimate criticism of Israel, similar to that levelled against other countries, cannot be considered antisemitic. It is in the explanatory notes of the IHRA definition. The conflation of endorsing this definition with the chilling of freedom of speech is untrue.

Adopting this definition has never been about taking a side on international conflicts. The Labor Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has publicly supported this definition, including in the recently released letter to the Israeli Prime Minister. Labor has supported this definition in New South Wales and Victoria, while maintaining their party position of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conflation with supporting the IHRA antisemitism definition with the suppression of any group of people is incorrect. There is a small Jewish community in South Australia that needs to be protected. I consulted with them and they want it.

I hope it is a great day for the Jewish community in South Australia and that sanity will prevail and that the IHRA definition will be received with bipartisan support in the Parliament of South Australia.

The PRESIDENT: I am going to put the amendment to the motion in the name of the Hon. Ms Bonaros first. The question will be that paragraphs 1 and 2 as proposed to be struck out by the Hon. Ms Bonaros stand part of the motion. If you are going to support the Hon. Ms Bonaros, you will vote no; if you are going to support the Hon. Ms Game, you will vote yes. I am trying to make it clear, because it is a little bit complicated.

The council divided on the question:

Ayes 13

Noes 4

Majority 9

Bourke, E.S. Centofanti, N.J. Curran, L.A.
Game, S.L. (teller) Girolamo, H.M. Hanson, J.E.
Hunter, I.K. Lee, J.S. Lensink, J.M.A.
Maher, K.J. Martin, R.B. Scriven, C.M.
Wade, S.G.
Bonaros, C. (teller) Franks, T.A. Pangallo, F.
Simms, R.A.

Ayes 15

Noes 4

Majority 11

Bourke, E.S. Centofanti, N.J. Curran, L.A.
Game, S.L. (teller) Girolamo, H.M. Hanson, J.E.
Hunter, I.K. Lee, J.S. Lensink, J.M.A.
Maher, K.J. Martin, R.B. Ngo, T.T.
Scriven, C.M. Wade, S.G. Wortley, R.P.
Bonaros, C. Franks, T.A. Pangallo, F. (teller)
Simms, R.A.