(April 15, 2022, NASHVILLE, TN, JNS Wire)
StandWithUs commends the state of Tennessee for overwhelmingly passing (by a vote of 29-0-0) groundbreaking legislation to help confront anti-Semitic crimes and discrimination on April 14, 2022. By passing HB 2673, Tennessee now joins the ranks of Florida, Iowa, and South Carolina in codifying the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism and making sure it is taken into account by state authorities when investigating incidents of crime or unlawful discrimination.
At a time when anti-Semitism festers throughout the country and world, measures like these remain necessary to help guide authorities in better being able to classify, address, and prevent anti-Semitic hate crimes.
The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism (and its examples) has emerged as the gold standard definition, being adopted or endorsed by 865 entities worldwide, including 37 countries, and more domestically, the U.S. Departments of Education and State. Its universal acceptance is indicated by its adoption from the Global Imams Council.
CEO of StandWithUs Roz Rothstein, observes, “Historically, anti-Semitism has been so deadly due to its evolving nature, making it difficult to identify and address. Tennessee’s legislation is a first step in the right direction given that the IHRA definition addresses contemporary anti-Semitism and provides examples of such behavior.”
Tennessee’s law does not infringe upon freedom speech but rather prepares state officials in their efforts to identify when crimes escalate into hate crimes.
StandWithUs looks forward to seeing Tennessee codify HB 2673 into law, and meanwhile thanks those on both sides of aisles who made this milestone possible including House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Senator Paul Rose, Representative Jerry Sexton, and Governor Bill Lee. Also deserving honorable mention are Professor of Law Mark Goldfeder, Rabbi Mark Schiftan, Pastor Lyndon Allen, and community members Bernie Pargh and Joanne Bregman. StandWithUs hopes that many other states will follow suit in light of Tennessee’s recent example to combat anti-Semitism at large.
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