Sen. Scott Applauds House Passage of Antisemitism Awareness Act

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) released the following statement upon passage of his Antisemitism Awareness Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Today, House Republicans and Speaker Johnson made it clear: violently antisemitic rhetoric has no place on college campuses. Antisemitism has spread like wildfire on college campuses and now more than ever, it is crucial that we stamp it out,” said Senator Scott. “I am urging Chuck Schumer to immediately bring my bill, the Antisemitism Awareness Act, to the floor for a vote and for every single Senator to support it. The Senate has a responsibility to stand against hatred so our Jewish brothers and sisters can live without fear.”

“What is happening at Columbia, at Yale, at UCLA, and so many other schools, is reprehensible and alarming. When people engage in harassment or bullying of Jewish individuals where they justify the killing of Jews or use blood libel or hold Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the Israeli government – that is antisemitic. It’s unfortunate that needs to be clarified, but that’s why this bill is necessary,” said Congressman Lawler. “By requiring the Department of Education to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples, the Antisemitism Awareness Act gives teeth to federal anti-discrimination laws to go after those who attack their Jewish peers. Politics should never get in the way of the safety of students. The strong bipartisan support for and passage of this legislation will ensure that it won’t.”

In the wake of the October 7th Hamas terror attacks on Israel and the skyrocketing incidents of antisemitism on college campuses that followed, Senator Scott and U.S. Representative Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) introduced the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which directs the Department of Education to use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic acts on campus. According to the Anti-Defamation League, violent language and threats against the Jewish community and Israel increased 488% in the first 18 hours after Hamas’s terror attacks on October 7, 2023.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, often expressed as hatred toward Jews, which includes:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews;
  • Making dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as the myth of a Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media, economy, government, or other societal institutions;
  • Holocaust denialism;
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nation;
  • Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. For example, claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor (anti-Zionism); and
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.