The UK’s Judicial College, which provides the training for the judiciary in England and Wales, has added the International Definition of Antisemitism and a section on the use of the word ‘Zionist’ as a slur to the latest edition of its Equal Treatment Bench Book. The handbook provides guidance for members of the judiciary in relation to equality and discrimination.
In explaining the importance of understanding the definition and the discriminatory uses of ‘Zionist’, the Judicial College cites Campaign Against Antisemitism’s annual Antisemitism Barometer research showing the extent of antisemitism in British society, and our work to ensure that journalist Kevin Myers was removed from his post at the Sunday Times following the publication of his opinion article about why he felt Jewish BBC presenters earned more than their non-Jewish peers.
The handbook, which is provided to all members of the judiciary in England and Wales, contains the full International Definition of Antisemitism, explaining its adoption, as well as a section dedicated to discussion of the use of the words ‘Zionist’ and ‘Zionism’ as slurs, quoting from a report of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report which states: “The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse…has no place in a civilised society.”
We strongly welcome the Judicial College’s intervention to update all members of the judiciary on the impact of the antisemitic crime crisis on the Jewish community, and to ensure that members of the bench are fully informed on the nature of antisemitism and attempts to disguise Jew-hatred by referring to Zionists instead of Jews.