During a period when far-right, white nationalist, and anti-Semitic extremists have been parading and brawling on the streets of American cities, storming and looting the U.S. Capitol, and even murdering Jews in their places of worship, debating the definition of anti-Semitism might seem to be a trivial and pedantic academic exercise. Yet it has become a hotly contested, politically controversial issue, not only in the United States, but also in other Western democracies, including Germany and the United Kingdom. The focus of the controversy is a brief "working definition" of anti-Semitism, initially published by a European Union agency in 2005 for the purpose of classifying and tracking incidents of anti-Semitism in EU countries. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental body, formally adopted this working definition in 2016. Since then, the IHRA definition, as it has become known, has been officially adopted or endorsed by more than 30 governments, including the United States.