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2019-01-25 digital edition
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January 25, 2019  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Florida bill would add protections against anti-Semitism to education system

A state lawmaker in Florida has introduced a bill that would add a controversial definition of anti-Semitism to laws barring discrimination in the state education system.

The amendment, proposed by Rep. Mike Caruso, a freshman Republican from Palm Beach, uses as its template the State Department definition of anti-Semitism. This includes not only calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial, but more controversially, “applying double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

Civil libertarians have objected to such language being written into law, saying it could encompass conventional criticism of Israel.

A similar bill has become law in South Carolina and was considered in the last Congress.

The State Department language was never intended as an enforcement tool and was drafted as a means of advising diplomats how to assess whether anti- Semitism is prevalent in countries where they serve.

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