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German government supports new definition of anti-Semitism

BERLIN — The German government has given its backing to a new definition of anti-Semitism intended to inform the work of schools, police, and courts.

During the last Cabinet meeting before Sunday’s national election, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers expressed support for a definition of anti-Semitism that includes attacks against religious institutions, the state of Israel, and non-Jews attacked for
anti-Semitic reasons.

Officials say the decision has no immediate legal implications but signals ‘‘that the German government strongly supports the fight against anti-Semitism at all levels.’’

The European Jewish Congress applauded Wednesday’s decision, which follows similar moves by Britain, Austria, and Romania.


The nationalist Alternative for Germany party, some of whose members have expressed anti-Semitic views, is expected to enter Parliament Sunday.

associated press