The decision took place at both the parliamentary level and the level of the cabinet of the Presidency, and was spearheaded by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chairman of Parliament, Dargan Čović, and the Serb member of the Presidency Cabinet, Milorad Dodnik.
According to statistics collected over the last decade, there were estimated to be between 500 and 1000 Jews in Bosnia and Herzegovina, making up between 0.01 and 0.03 percent of a total population.
The Jewish population has seen a significant decline in recent decades, with about 1,500 Jewish people leaving the territory during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s following the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The Head of the Cabinet of the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tonka Krešić Gagro, said that “I am excited to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, an effort that was made by Mr Dragan Čović. For me, as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a Jewish legacy in my family, it is a step forward for our people. It is a way to show deep respect for the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust, and to those who survived, and to preserve their legacy and remember history.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the decision, which demonstrates the Bosnian/Herzegovinian Government’s solidarity with the Jewish community at this worrying time for Jews in Europe.
Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. Bosnia and Herzegovina joins a growing list of national governments and public bodies to use the Definition.