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Politics: North Carolina Legislature Approves Bill Adopting Leading Definition Of

POLITICS: North Carolina Legislature Approves Bill Adopting Leading Definition of Antisemitism

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The post North Carolina Legislature Approves Bill Adopting Leading Definition of Antisemitism first appeared on USSA News | The Tea Party’s Front Page.. Visit USSANews.com.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) speaks at the unveiling of a statue of the late Rev. Billy Graham in Statuary Hall inside the Capitol on May 16, 2024. Photo: Jack Gruber via Reuters Connect

North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday passed legislation which would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, taking a step toward joining dozens of other US states that have done so already to fight a surge of anti-Jewish hatred across the country.

The measure, House Bill 942, passed in the state’s Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, with just two Democrats voting against it, after being approved by the House on a second reading. It now awaits the signature of Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who has sent mixed signals to the state’s Jewish community, condemning antisemitism on the one hand while criticizing Israel’s prosecution of its war against Hamas on the other.

His signing of the legislation, which progressive groups aligned with the Democratic Party have accused of censoring criticism of Israel, is not guaranteed.

“In Israel’s attempts to defend itself and to rid itself from Hamas, you’re seeing devastating consequences to civilians, women, and children,” Cooper said during an interview in March with Technician, the student newspaper of North Carolina State University. Cooper also acknowledged Hamas’ “atrocities,” saying,”I know that [US President Joe Biden] is working very hard toward a ceasefire, toward providing aid to Gaza, and that there’s so much hard work going on behind the scenes and now even more publicly, to make sure that the hostages are released, and to make sure that peace is brought to this area of the world.”

Cooper, at other times, has stood resolutely behind the Jewish community, expressing concern about a rise of antisemitic hatred in his state. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitic incidents there increased 287 percent in 2023 compared to the prior year and 403 percent compared to 2021.

Cooper addressed the problem in 2022 during a Hanukkah celebration held with the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association.

“Right now, antisemitic violence and threats are increasingly rapid here and across the world, and it’s on all of us to speak and work to stop this dangerous extremism,” he said.

IHRA, an intergovernmental organization comprising dozens of countries including the US and Israel, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of antisemitism in 2016. Since then, the definition has been widely accepted by Jewish groups and well over 1,000 global entities, from countries to companies. The US State Department, the European Union, and the United Nations all use it.

According to the definition, 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.”

IHRA provides 11 specific, contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere. Beyond classic antisemitic behavior associated with the likes of the medieval period and Nazi Germany, the examples include denial of the Holocaust and newer forms of antisemitism targeting Israel such as demonizing the Jewish state, denying its right to exist, and holding it to standards not expected of any other democratic state.

To date, it has been embraced by 34 US states, including Ohio, New York, Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, and Georgia.

“With antisemitism having exploded worldwide post-Oct. 7, the IHRA definition remains a tool of paramount importance for helping identify and quell the mounting tide of antisemitism,” Roz Rothstein, chief executive officer of the Jewish civil rights group StandWithUs, said in a statement responding to North Carolina’s passing of the IHRA legislation. “North Carolina’s moral clarity on this matter sets a clear example from which other states ought to draw inspiration as Jews around the world desperately seek assurances of their own safety.”

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida (R) earlier this week signed a bill, HB187, formally incorporating the IHRA definition into state law, continuing his legislative assault on antisemitism emanating from both the far-right and far-left. The measure’s signing marks the second time the IHRA definition has been added to a Florida statue, having been done so in 2019, when DeSantis signed the “Antisemitism Protections Bill” proposed by Rep. Randy Fine (R).

The move was praised by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), a nonprofit organization which included Fine in a delegation of lawmakers that visited Israel after the Oct. 7 massacre.

“The Combat Antisemitism Movement applauds the passing of HB187, which codifies the [IHRA definition] into state-wide legislation,” CAM chief executive officer Sacha Roytman said in a statement. “We thank Rep. Randy Fine, Rep. Michael Gottlieb, and others for introducing this bill to protect the Jewish community in Florida, as well as Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the bill into law to combat antisemitism in all its forms.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post North Carolina Legislature Approves Bill Adopting Leading Definition of Antisemitism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Author: Dion J. Pierre


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The post North Carolina Legislature Approves Bill Adopting Leading Definition of Antisemitism first appeared on USSA News | The Tea Party’s Front Page.. Visit USSANews.com.



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