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Rick Scott, Jared Moskowitz Want U.S. Department of Education to Crack Down on Antisemitism”

Last week, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, and U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, R-NY, introduced the “Antisemitism Awareness Act” with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz’s, D-Fla., support.

The bill “directs the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic acts on campus” as the department currently lacks “a clear definition of antisemitism when determining whether an antisemitic or anti-Israel incident on campus crosses the line from free speech into harassing, unlawful or discriminatory conduct.”

The senators pointed to a report showing an upsurge of antisemitic incidents after the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel earlier in the month.

“According to the Anti-Defamation League, violent language and threats against the Jewish community and Israel increased 488 percent in the first 18 hours after Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, 2023,” Rick Scott’s office noted.

“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 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.”

“The amount of antisemitism we consistently see on college campuses is disturbing and unacceptable,” said 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. 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. We must confront antisemitism at all times, unequivocally.”

“I will always stand with Israel and Florida’s Jewish community. Every American has the right to peaceful, free speech, but it’s frankly disgusting that any American who claims to believe in the principles of our nation would choose to side with baby killers and terrorists and spread hate against our Jewish community—especially at our public institutions of education. We’re talking about Iran-backed terrorists who have killed thousands, including 33 Americans, beheaded babies and raped young women, and still have hundreds of hostages held in Gaza. I’m proud to see several Florida universities make clear they stand with Israel and this hate will not be tolerated on campus. I urge every Florida university and all higher education institutions across the country to follow their lead, and every potential employer to make clear that an applicant’s participation in these anti-Semitic rallies is a disqualifier. I am thankful for my colleagues’ support of this crucial bill and urge its immediate passage today,” said Scott.

See also  Rick Scott Joins Sen. Rand Paul in Letter Requesting Hearing on Threat of Terrorists Exploiting Southern Border

“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 weeks, it’s beyond clear we need a multi-layered approach to stopping antisemitism,” said Jared Moskowitz.

Tim Scott’s office offered the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

“The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, often expressed as hatred toward Jews, which includes calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews; making dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as the myth of a Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions; Holocaust denialism; accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nation; denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. For example, claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor (anti-Zionism); and Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The Anti-Defamation League; the American Jewish Committee; the Jewish Federations of North America; the Republican Jewish Coalition; the Orthodox Union; the Zionist Organization of America; the Israeli-American Council; Christians United for Israel; the Endowment for Middle East Truth; Hadassah; and the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are backing the proposal.

Rick Scott is one of five Republicans co-sponsoring the bill which was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Moskowitz is one of 10 House co-sponsors of Lawler’s bill, which is before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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