Just hours after his inauguration as the new governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order on Saturday establishing a commission to combat anti-Semitism.

According to the text of Executive Order, No. 8—one of 11 executive actions that Youngkin took on his first day—the commission’s purpose is to examine “anti-Semitism in the Commonwealth, propose actions to combat anti-Semitism and reduce the number of anti-Semitic incidents, as well as compile materials and provide assistance to Virginia’s public-school system and state institutions of higher education in relation to anti-Semitism and its connection to the Holocaust.”

The move comes amid an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in recent years.

“This disturbing trend has brought to the forefront the necessity of a targeted effort to combat the rising threat of anti-Semitism and ensure all Virginians are free to live their lives without the threat of harassment, violence, or discrimination,” Youngkin wrote in his order. “Every manifestation of anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial is an affront to our society and will not be accepted in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The American Jewish Committee praised the announcement by the new leader, tweeting: “Good news in the fight against anti-Semitism: On his first day in office, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the creation of a commission to combat anti-Semitism in Virginia. Thank you for your leadership in the fight against Jew-hatred, governor.”


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