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House Passes Bill to Expand Jewish Student’s Antidiscrimination Rights

Columbia University. wionews.com
Columbia University. wionews.com

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that seeks to address antisemitism on America’s college campuses. The measure comes as the country has seen anti-Israel protests disrupt educational institutions in multiple states.

The bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), was approved on a 320-91 vote, with opposition from 21 Republicans and 70 Democrats.

The proposal, if approved in the Senate and signed into law, will require the U.S. Department of Education to enforce antidiscrimination laws using the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities," the explanation reads.

Among instances of antisemitism provided by the IHRA are denying Israel’s right to exist, applying double standards to Israel, comparing Israel to the former Nazi regime, and holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of Israel’s government.

These illustrations have been widely manifested by the recent student demonstrators, who have used chanting, signage, harassment, and the battery of their Jewish colleagues to display disapproval of the IDF’s military operations in Gaza.

By allowing this behavior to be statutorily defined as a form of racial or religious discrimination, Jewish students should have more legal tools to ensure a safer learning environment.

Related Story: Columbia Rabbi Tells Jewish Students to Go Home for Their Own Safety as Pro-Hamas Protests Intensify

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