Senator Scott, Casey’s Bi-partisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act passes unanimously in the Senate

WASHINGTON, DC -Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) earlier this week. The legislation was initiated in response to the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents that have been reported on college campuses nationwide.

Statistics show there has been a sharp increase in religiously-motivated hate crimes, many specifically involving anti-Jewish sentiments. According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2015 there were 90 anti-Semitic incidents that were reported across 60 college campuses, while in 2014 there were 47 incidents on 43 campuses.

“There is simply no place in our country for this kind of intolerance,” said Scott. “It falls on us to stand up and do more to stamp out anti-Semitism and other forms of religious discrimination. We must hold to the ideals that our nation was founded on and promote freedom of religion. We must protect that freedom and encourage it.”

“The rise in incidents of religious discrimination and religiously-motivated hate crimes 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 anti-Semitism: when anti-Semitic views lead to discrimination against students of Jewish faith or Jewish ancestry. I’m pleased that this legislation moved forward and call on the House of Representatives to quickly send it to the President’s desk.”

If passed and signed into law by the President, the U.S. Department of Education would be able to use the State Department’s definition of what constitutes an anti-Semitic act to assist in investigating illegal discrimination on college campuses. The law is in no way intended to infringe on any individual right protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.