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Idaho State News

Crapo, Scott, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Address Antisemitism on College Campuses

Washington, D.C.–U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joined Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Senate colleagues to introduce the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which directs the U.S. Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic acts on campus.  Currently, the Department of Education lacks a clear definition of antisemitism when determining whether an antisemitic or anti-Israel incident on campus crosses the line from free speech into harassing, unlawful or discriminatory conduct.

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“Jewish students should feel safe and protected from harassment on college campuses,” said Crapo.  “This bill would provide much-needed guidance for universities so that antisemitic behavior is not tolerated at any level of America’s education system.”

“Our nation’s institutions of higher learning have become hotbeds of antisemitism, especially in the wake of the brutal attacks against Israel and innocent civilians by Hamas and Iran,” said Scott.  “It’s critical the Department of Education has the tools and resources it needs to investigate antisemitism and root out this vile hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, violent language and threats against the Jewish community and Israel increased 488 percent in the first 18 hours after Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, 2023.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, often expressed as hatred toward Jews, which includes:

  • Calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews;
  • Making dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as the myth of a Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media, economy, government, or other societal institutions; Holocaust denialism;
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nation;
  • Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. For example, claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor (anti-Zionism); and
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Crapo and Scott are joined in introducing the legislation by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Christopher Coons (D-Delaware), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona), Kristen Gillibrand (D-New York), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Katie Britt (R-Alabama), John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia).

The full text of the bill is available here.

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