SC House Passes Bill to Expand Definition of Anti-Semitism

beth bernstein

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- House lawmakers voted 103-3, passing a bill aimed to combat anti-semitism on college and universities in the wake of recent incidents nationwide.

The bill (H.3643) would require schools to use the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-semitism, a move that had critiques concerned about infringing on their first amendment rights.

“The State Department’s mission is not to set policy for American Citizens,” Rep. Jonathan Hill said on the House Floor Thursday. “The definition that they apply to other nations in determining whether an action is anti-semetic may not be the best way to measure that for American citizens.”

Rep. Beth Bernstein, co-sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would instead address any criminal activity that is spun from anti-semitism.

“It does not affect the curriculum of what a professor wants to teach in class,” Bernstein said. “This is aimed at combating all of the anti-semetic incidents that we are seeing across the nation at an alarming rate.”

The bill’s language includes that “Nothing in this act may be construed to diminish or infringe upon any rights afforded by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution.”

rick quinn

The State Department’s examples of anti-semitism under their definition are below:

Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism:

-Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).

-Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

-Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

-Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

-Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:


-Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis

-Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

-Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions


-Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation

-Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations


-Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

© 2017 WLTX-TV



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