Congressman Max Miller Co-Leads the Bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act to Help With The Enforcement of Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Washington, DCRep. Max Miller (OH-07) released the following statement after the introduction of the bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act co-led by Senator Tim Scott (SC), and Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Mike Lawler (NY-17), and Jared Moskowitz (FL-23). The Antisemitism Awareness Act will require the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. Usage of the IHRA definition in this context is a key step in calling out antisemitism where it is and ensuring antisemitic hate crimes on college campuses are properly investigated and prosecuted.

“Antisemitism has spread like wildfire on college campuses, and it is rearing its ugly head in the wake of Hamas’s ruthless attack on Israel. College students celebrate terrorists who brutally murder innocent civilians as ‘martyrs’ and faculty members call Hamas’s assault ‘exhilarating.’ This abhorrent behavior underscores the clear need for federal policy to protect Jewish students on these unfriendly campuses,” stated Rep. Max Miller.

“The amount of antisemitism we consistently see on college campuses is disturbing and unacceptable,” said Rep. Mike Lawler. “Colleges and universities have long been breeding grounds of antisemitism and the recent Hamas attack has taken it to the next level. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we crack down on antisemitic hate within our own country.”

“The Antisemitism Awareness Act is a strong step in the right direction on this front, providing the Department of Education with a clear definition of antisemitism in order to combat this scourge on college campuses,” continued Rep. Mike Lawler. “The fact is, antisemitism is rampant in our country and we must quash it as quickly as possible.”

“I’m thankful for the bipartisan support of the Antisemitism Awareness Act and for the support from a wide range of Jewish organizations that are standing up, endorsing this legislation, and saying enough is enough,” concluded Rep. Mike Lawler. “We must confront antisemitism at all times, unequivocally.”

“Our nation’s institutions of higher learning have become hotbeds of antisemitism, especially in the wake of the brutal Hamas terror attacks against Israel and innocent civilians,” said Sen. Tim Scott. “It’s critical the Department of Education has the tools and resources it needs to investigate antisemitism and root out this vile hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.”

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, since the heinous terrorist attack on Israel, there has been an explosion of antisemitism, violence, and intimidation at home and around the world — especially on our college campuses.  As the only Jewish member of the New Jersey congressional delegation, I’m full of grief, anger, and disgust following the darkest day in Jewish history since the end of the Holocaust. I’m helping lead the bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act because we have an obligation to teach future generations about this evil and protect Jewish students from violence and the virulent impact of all hate,” stated Rep. Josh Gottheimer.

“Since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, we have seen an uptick of violence, hatred, and antisemitic attacks on the Jewish Community. Those who commit antisemitic attacks with the sole purpose of hurting the Jewish community must be held accountable to the full extent of the law. With the hatred we’ve witnessed over the last couple of weeks, it’s beyond clear we need a multi-layered approach to stopping antisemitism,” said Rep. Jared Moskowitz.

“Representative Mike Lawler and Sen. Tim Scott’s Antisemitism Awareness Act could not have come at a more urgent time,” said Israeli-American Council (IAC) CEO Elan S. Carr, who also serves on the advisory board of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM).  “Too many of our universities and schools have become intolerable places for Jewish students, many of whom hide their identity or support for Israel to avoid persecution.  Shockingly, the harassment of Jews on campus has only increased in the wake of the horrific murders of 1,400 Israelis by Hamas terrorists.  This is absolutely unacceptable and must stop.  This bill is an important step in the right direction.  By codifying the use of the IHRA definition of antisemitism for adjudicating Title VI Civil Rights cases, the act will give the Department of Education an important tool for protecting Jewish students.  We are deeply grateful to Rep. Lawler and Sen. Scott, as well as to the other leaders of this important effort, especially Rep. Josh Gottheimer.”

“We welcome the introduction of the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023. This significant legislation underlines the critical need to combat the disturbing rise in antisemitism in the United States, particularly on our college campuses. By adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, we can provide much-needed clarity in identifying and combating this age-old hatred. The Jewish Federations maintains our commitment to its uncontested use. We urge Congress to pass this bill swiftly to send a clear message that antisemitism will not be tolerated,” stated Karen Paikin Barall, Associate Vice President, Jewish Federations of North America.

“I would like to extend my sincere and abundant gratitude to Congressman Mike Lawler for his leadership and commitment in introducing this significant bill,” said Sarah Stern, President and Founder of EMET. “Antisemitism is always the first indicator of an internal societal rot. It always starts with the Jews, but what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. This bill is a critical step towards fostering a society that rejects all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism. By adopting an internationally recognized IHRA definition and addressing contemporary examples of antisemitism, this legislation will undoubtedly contribute to a more inclusive and just future for all students, including our nation’s Jewish students, in the United States. EMET couldn’t be more proud of being a part of this crucial effort.”

“The definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Association is an essential tool for protecting the civil rights of Jewish students. Jewish Republicans are grateful to Congressman Lawler, Congressman Gottheimer, Senator Scott, and the members of both parties who have cosponsored the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which will ensure that federal investigators can use this vital tool,” stated Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“We thank Reps. Lawler and Gottheimer for introducing the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Antisemitism is metastasizing on college campuses, resulting in a tremendous problem with many Jewish students feeling the need to hide their Jewish identity. The palpable increase in the hatred of Jews in the last few weeks we have seen this hatred towards Jewish students leave many in fear. In order to begin to address the problem of antisemitism, there must be clarity about what antisemitism actually is. The IHRA working definition provides guidance in addressing this challenge,” said William C. Daroff, CEO Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is proud to support the Antisemitism Awareness Act and will continue to advocate for policies that fight the alarming surge in antisemitism,” stated Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow and CEO Naomi Adler. “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition of Antisemitism is an essential tool for identifying Jew-hatred and should be used to inform protections against discrimination in educational programs. We applaud Congressman Lawler, Congressman Gottheimer, and Senator Scott for their leadership in fighting hatred and discrimination by introducing this important, bipartisan bill.”

“The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is the most authoritative and effective tool to delineate all forms of contemporary Jew-hatred across the ideological spectrum, and has been adopted by more than 1,200 entities worldwide. Jews are the most targeted group for religious-motivated hate crimes in the United States, and we are encouraged by this legislative initiative to ensure that the American Jewish community is as fully protected by federal anti-discrimination laws as other minorities,” said Sacha Roytman Dratwa — CEO of the Combat Antisemitism Movement.

“The Zionist Organization of America strongly endorses this legislation. As the reaction of some to the barbaric attacks on southern Israel communities has shown, it is essential that the hatred of Jews is clearly identified as antisemitism and that the definition of discrimination against Jews under federal law has no ambiguity. President Biden’s policy on antisemitism was purposely ambiguous about the definition to allow some antisemites to disguise their anti-Israel hate. The IHRA definition of antisemitism must be the only standard used by the federal government. Rep. Lawler has shown strong leadership in proposing this bill and getting a large coalition to support it,” stated Dan Pollak, Director of Government Relations, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

“We welcome the introduction of the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Antisemitism is not a Jewish problem, it’s everyone’s problem. Long before the Oct 7 massacre, antisemitism was running rampant on college campuses across the country. Since the massacre, antisemitic acts are on full display in their most vile and despicable form – support of Hamas and the annihilation of Jews. When the administration’s Press Secretary can’t acknowledge the blatant Jew hatred rising in America, then it’s time to raise the standard. This act does just that, the Department of Education must do more to combat the scourge of anti-Jewish hatred, and we believe codifying the IHRA definition will help ensure that the department will not stray from this vital mission,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.

“We are grateful to Rep. Lawler and the other original cosponsors for reintroducing this critical legislation. It is unfathomable that in the year 2023, Jewish Americans are being targeted and harassed for being Jewish. We’ve seen a terrifying rise in antisemitism since the Hamas attacks on October 7th, particularly on college campuses. Universities have a responsibility to protect their Jewish students from discrimination – this legislation will help colleges and the Department of Education and other federal agencies to prosecute instances of antisemitism and make our great nation a safe place for all Americans,” stated Nathan Diament, Executive Director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center.

The list of organizations that endorse the Antisemitism Awareness Act include: Israeli-American Council (IAC), Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations (COP), Hadassah, Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Christians United For Israel (CUFI), Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), American Jewish Committee (AJC), and Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Additional co-sponsors of the bill include: Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Tom Kean (NJ-07), David Kustoff (TN-08), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18).

The text of the bill is available here.

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Editor’s Note: 

Congressman Max Miller represents Ohio’s Seventh District which includes Medina and Wayne counties as well as parts of Cuyahoga and Holmes counties. Miller sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the House Agriculture Committee. Before joining Congress, Miller spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves and served in several senior positions for President Donald Trump. Please visit maxmiller.house.gov for more information.

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