The House of Representatives passes a controversial anti-Semitism law

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a vote that got here amid increasing concerns about anti-Semitism as Israel is at war with Hamas and against a backdrop of pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses within the United States throughout the country.

Supporters of the law say it is going to help combat anti-Semitism on college campuses, but opponents say it goes too far and threatens to limit free speech.

The bill would require the Department of Education to make use of a definition of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

Critics of the bill argue that the definition is just too broad and could lead on to censorship problems.

The House vote was 320-91, with 70 Democrats and 21 Republicans voting against the bill. Most of the GOP opposition got here from the appropriate wing of the conference. The bill would next must pass the Senate.

New York Republican Rep. Mike Lawler, who introduced the bill, said in an announcement: “It is critical that we address anti-Semitic hatred in our own country.”

“I am grateful for the bipartisan support of the Antisemitism Awareness Act and for the support of a variety of Jewish organizations who are standing up, supporting this legislation and saying enough is enough,” he said.

In the House, Reps. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, Max Miller, a Republican from Ohio, and Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat from Florida, are also leading the trouble.

The American Civil Liberties Union has urged lawmakers to oppose the law.

In a letter to representatives, the ACLU wrote, “Federal law already prohibits anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment by federally funded entities.” HR 6090 is subsequently not needed to guard against anti-Semitic discrimination; Instead, it will likely restrict student free speech on college campuses by falsely equating criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism.”

“While we fully support efforts to combat discrimination and harassment through Title VI complaints and investigations, we oppose the use of the IHRA definition or any definition of discrimination that censors or denies political speech protected by the First Amendment threatens to punish him,” the letter says.

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York said during debate on the bill on Wednesday: “There is no excuse for bigotry, threats or violence against anyone, anywhere, and it is imperative that we confront the scourge of anti-Semitism, “And Congress can help,” but this laws isn’t the reply.”

“Speech critical of Israel alone does not constitute unlawful discrimination,” the congressman said. “The bill goes too far.”

Rejecting bipartisan critics of the bill, Lawler told CNN that Republican Sen. Tim Scott would introduce the Senate companion bill and called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to take motion.

“Now it is up to Senator Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in America and in American history, to take action and bring this bill to the Senate for a vote,” he said, urging the Senate to “act quickly.”

Speaker Johnson puts the highlight on campus protests

House Speaker Mike Johnson has increasingly placed the highlight on campus protests. Last week, the Louisiana Republican visited Columbia University to satisfy with Jewish students and hold a news conference he called on the president of the university to resign.

On Tuesday, Johnson announced at a news conference “a Housewide effort to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses,” while House Republicans vowed to strengthen oversight of faculty campuses by expanding oversight efforts across multiple committees.

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, chairwoman of the House Education Committee, said she has notified various universities to look before the panel.

“Actions have consequences. One of those consequences is that I have announced that Yale, UCLA and Michigan will appear before the Committee on Education and the Workforce on May 23 for a hearing on their handling of these recent crimes,” she said.

The speaker's office said in a news release that the House will consider federal funding for universities, the foreign student visa program and tax advantages for universities.

Johnson is specializing in the problem because he has faced threats to his leadership from a small faction of conservative hardliners and has sought to rally Republicans behind him within the House.

On Wednesday, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced that she is going to seek a vote on Johnson's ouster next week. Democrats are expected to vote to reject the request, effectively ensuring that Johnson stays within the leadership job. Still, the move increases pressure on the speaker and results in a showdown within the House of Representatives.

After Greene stated that “anti-Semitism is wrong,” she called it quits in a post

She wrote down

Some Democratic lawmakers have called on university officials to dismantle the encampment at Columbia, while others visited campus last week to talk with student activists. The situation on the bottom has since modified as protesters moved this week occupy one among the campus buildings.

While the main target for now could be on campus protests, former President Donald Trump, who’s now fighting to reclaim the presidency, has also come under fire for his rhetoric regarding Jewish Americans.

Trump in March said in an interview that each Jewish one who votes for Democrats “hates their religion” and hates “everything about Israel,” spreading the anti-Semitic impression that Jewish Americans have dual loyalty to the US and to Israel.

In 2022, Trump provided White nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West at his Mar-a-Lago estate showed their willingness to work with figures who espouse well-known anti-Semitic views as he once more made his option to the White House.

And during his presidency, when white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing groups emerged gathered In Charlottesville, Virginia, some gathered chanted, “Jews will not replace us,” and Trump stressed that there have been “very good people” on either side of the demonstrations.

Why this campus unrest story is so complex

The nuances and history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remain difficult to know succinctly, especially given the escalating unrest amongst groups with deep-rooted – and entrenched – views on the problem.

Students in student camps spread across the United States come from diverse backgrounds – including Palestinians, Arabs, Jews and Muslims, together with students of other religious and ethnic backgrounds. They represent a spectrum of political and social views.

Many were motivated by reports and videos from Gaza about an emerging humanitarian crisis. Many of those students view the Israeli military's actions in Gaza as a continuation of greater than 70 years of oppression of Palestinian rights, land and culture. Protesters say they need their schools to take a stand against what they are saying is genocide in Gaza.

With anti-Semitism reaching record levels since Hamas' attack on October 7, 2023, many Jews imagine Israel needs more support now than ever – as a refuge for Jews, long an oppressed minority. Although they oppose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies and the country's actions in Gaza, many Jews imagine that anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiment and even peaceful protest against Israel are themselves anti-Semitic since the concept of Israel because the Jewish homeland is on the core of Judaism . And some support the Israeli government's efforts to dismantle Hamas in Gaza.

CAIR has reported record incidents of Islamophobia on campus, and the Anti-Defamation League has recorded a historic variety of incidents of violence and threats against Jewish students. Some Jewish students said they were threatened by protesters and encountered anti-Semitic rhetoric at some rallies. The White House and several other governors have expressed support for Jewish students and urged protesters and universities to exercise restraint.

CNN's Morgan Rimmer, Manu Raju, David Goldman, Ramishah Maruf and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

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