State Senate next stop for bill that aims to define antisemitism in state law
A bill that would define antisemitism in state code cleared the House Thursday as some lawmakers voiced concerns about potential infringement on free speech.
The measure, sponsored by Marietta Republican Rep. John Carson, defers to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition and directs state agencies to consult the definition when applying Georgia’s anti-discrimination and hate crime laws.
The bill passed Thursday with a 141-19 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Opponents include the Council on American–Islamic Relations and American Civil Liberties Union. Rep. Becky Evans, an Atlanta Democrat, said the bill could suppress legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and chill free speech and advocacy for Palestinian rights.
David Goldman, policy counsel for the ACLU, argued the definition is too broad.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working 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.”