Scott, Casey Introduce Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

WASHINGTON— In light of the growing trend of Anti-Semitic actions coming from across the nation and world, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced S. 852, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.

“In 2016, I first introduced the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act and look forward to joining my colleagues in reintroducing it this Congress. It is crucial to have clear and concise language defining anti-Semitism in the event that violence and hatred occurs,” said Senator Scott. “The unfortunate rise in these incidents across the country must be met with swift and unwavering condemnation. We must stand together against racism and bigotry by ensuring that justice is served against those who seek to divide us.”

“The rise in incidents of religious discrimination and religiously-motivated hate crimes around the world is completely unacceptable. We have to not only condemn it, but work to stop it,” Senator Casey said. “This legislation is aimed at a particularly troubling manifestation of the growing problem of discrimination against those of Jewish faith or Jewish ancestry. I’m proud to work with Senator Scott on this bill, which aims to combat anti-Semitism and help investigate illegal discrimination on college campuses.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2017 there were 204 reported incidents of anti-Semitic related events on campus – nearly doubled that of 108 in 2016. The surge in these acts can be attributed to the nationwide rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric and related occurrences. 

To view the full bill, click HERE.

What They Are Saying

“On behalf of The Jewish Federations of North America, we commend the introduction of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019. This legislation takes important steps to curb the historic growth of anti-Semitic behavior, particularly at educational institutions,” said William Daroff, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the Jewish Federations of North America. “No student working hard to earn a degree should ever have to face fear and hate based on who they are or their religious identity.”

Today, the federal government does not have all of the tools it needs to investigate anti-Semitic incidents on campus, as it does for most other forms of discrimination. At a time of rising anti-Semitic incidents, we welcome the Senate’s introduction of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which provides important guidance for federal anti-discrimination investigations involving anti-Semitism,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “This will help the federal government determine whether an anti-Semitic or anti-Israel incident crosses the line from protected free expression into harassing, unlawful or discriminatory conduct, because investigations would be informed by the current, widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism. We applaud Senators Scott’s and Casey’s leadership in sponsoring this important legislation, which will help protect Jewish students from discrimination on campus, while not infringing on the free speech of all students.”

“Anti-Semitism isn’t just a Jewish problem. It’s everyone’s problem. It’s an abomination that must be confronted at every turn. And at an absolute minimum, we must work to protect students, the most vulnerable members of our society, from the rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across this country. At this moment, the best way to do that is for the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act to advance without delay,” said CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center on behalf of our 400,000 constituent families commend Senator Scott’s introduction of S.852, the Antisemitism Awareness Act. We hope that both Houses will swiftly pass this needled legislation that will help safeguard Jewish students on campus from anti-Semitic intimidation,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper.