Antisemitism Awareness Act Passed: Good Intentions, Bad Idea

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The antisemitism bill passed last night 320-91. Twenty-one Republicans and 70 Democrats voted against it.

The bill, titled the Antisemitism Awareness Act, would mandate that the Education Department adopt the broad definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental group, to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

The international group defines antisemitism as a “certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” The group adds that “rhetorical and physical manifestations” of antisemitism include such things as calling for the killing or harming of Jews or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions taken by Israel.

It is vague and ill-defined.

The bill’s prospects in the Senate are unclear.

GOOD INTENTIONS, BAD IDEA

With all the best intentions. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), a Catholic, and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) sponsored an anti-semitism bill fraught with potential problems.

Catholics are opposed to it because they think it ends up accusing Catholics of anti-semitism if they believe the ancient Jews turned Jesus over to the Romans to be killed for heresy. That is true, but the Pharisees of ancient times are not the Jews of today. To go beyond the ancient history and apply it to today is an anachronism. Israelis and Jews today didn’t kill Jesus. The example in the definition is qualified. It only comes in if Christians accuse today’s Jews of killing Jesus.

However, the fear is that bad actors could distort it and use it against Christians.

The main problem with the bill, and with all hate speech bills, is defining the problem and then deciding who is fit to judge and police it. Giving this power to the government, in this case, the Department of Education, is never something we should do. It is too high-risk for politicization.

Would it be better to concentrate on the threats to kill Jews and have stronger penalties for Jewish students who are abused? It’s more tangible.

Rep. Gaetz believes it would subject the Bible and the truth to being criminalized. That certainly isn’t Lawler’s and Ritchie’s intention, but it could be misused by political operatives.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Rep. Thomas Massie posted the legally adopted definition of anti-semitism on X since it’s not in the bill. He believes it violates the First Amendment.

Criminalizing speech is always unconstitutional, and it’s happening more and more, which is why hate speech laws are dangerous. Has anyone come up with a way to execute them properly?

Take the one about blaming Israelis for killing Jesus. It is ridiculous. That Pharisees are not Israelis. You can’t take people out of their time and place and impose today’s values on them. However, could anti-Christians politicize it and claim the bible is anti-Semitic and worthy of criminalization? Leftists have already banned the bible in public spaces.

The renamed bill, H.R.6090—the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023, has been in the works for some time. However, it suffers from some loophole flaws.

We all want to see this anti-semitism stopped dead in its tracks. It’s extremely dangerous and unfair. It could destroy all of us.

However, sometimes, the most practical thing is best. Using just common sense, let’s take away all funding from universities that allow violence, threats, bullying, and abuse on campus. Let them fight it in court and explain why they think it’s only free speech.

Take away their money and humiliate them if they abuse students because of an immutable characteristic. We already have laws to cover that.

It’s the Ideology Behind It

Let’s worry more about Marxists who are trying to destroy America. We need to stop them. This is at the core of the hate. People didn’t mind when it was against Christians and white men. That was very short-sighted.

The universities don’t see Marxism or anti-semitism as a problem. They allow it and promote it. They hire professors who teach it. DEI is the greatest example of this. That is what has to be stopped.

Cut their subsidies. They understand money. Let’s see them defend it as they did under Rep. Stefanik’s grilling. They can’t. It’s un-American.

The people running these universities believe in DEI, Marxism, and the transformation of the nation. Get past definitions, take away their money, tax their endowments, and hold them accountable.

DEI is unconstitutional and completely opposed to our inherent beliefs.

While we’re at it, let’s get rid of Antifa. They are communist anarchists trying to overturn the government, and they are on over 200 campuses, as is the communist Black Lives Matter. I don’t use these descriptions lightly. It is how they described themselves.

“The Jewish people need our support now,” he said. “They need action now,” Lawler said. Absolutely. So does America.


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