JVP welcomes the stalling of misguided Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

December 12, 2016–The problematic Anti-Semitism Awareness Act fast-tracked through the Senate last week stalled in the House of Representatives following public pressure. Jewish Voice for Peace welcomed an end to the 114th Congress without passage of the legislation, which purports to fight anti-Semitism but would have targeted political criticism of Israel on college campuses.

Rabbi Joseph Berman, JVP Manager of Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy:

“From swastikas in synagogues to the white nationalist Steve Bannon being appointed to White House Chief Strategist, we are witnessing an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, as well as other forms of bigotry and violence. Unfortunately, rather than address anti-Semitism, this legislation sought to silence advocacy for Palestinian human rights on college campuses. We are glad to see that Congress, at least for now, understood that this legislation would have violated First Amendment-protected speech and been a disaster for academic freedom.

The question for those Jewish institutions that backed this bill is whether they will be a part of an agenda under President-Elect Trump to undermine civil liberties, or join those of us who are resisting attacks on rights and freedoms, and combatting anti-Semitism alongside racism and Islamophobia.”

Read more about the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016:

JTA: “Over 60 scholars and hundreds of students sign letter against controversial anti-Semitism bill” December 9, 2016

Haaretz: “Why Congress’ Anti-Semitism Bill Won’t Protect Jews” December 10, 2016

The Forward: “The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is the Opposite of what Jews and Muslims need right now” December 8, 2016

The Intercept: “Senate Responds to Trump-Inspired Anti-Semitism By Targeting Students Who Criticize Israel” December 2, 2016

JVP’s press release on the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016


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