Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, spoke at the state’s general assembly on Jan. 12, urging legislators to go further in protecting the local Jewish community.
He suggested that the state make antisemitism a hate crime and that a bill to that end ensures that “all forms of antisemitism, not just religious bigotry, are treated as hate crimes under the law.”
Such a designation could mean that those who spray-paint swastikas, for example, be charged with a hate crime instead of vandalism.
Youngkin also called for legislation to bar government involvement with businesses that boycott Israel. “I want to challenge all of us, pass a bill which says the commonwealth of Virginia won’t do business with companies that boycott Israel.”
The governor issued an executive order with a six-point plan in October “to combat the increasing incidents and threats of antisemitism, and anti-religious and ethnic-based bigotry and violence in the Commonwealth.”