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Georgia Governor Signs Bill Adopting Leading Definition of Antisemitism

By Dion J. Pierre | The Algemeiner | February 1, 2024



Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) on January 31, 2023 signing bill that adopts International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism


Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed on Wednesday a bill that will require law enforcement officials in the state to refer to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic hate crimes.

The Georgia Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill, HB30, last Thursday, nearly a year after similar legislation was blocked during the waning hours of the 2023 legislative session, an outcome that a legislator described to The Algemeiner at the time as “devastating to watch.” This time it passed in the Georgia House 129-5 and in the Georgia Senate 44-6.

“There has been a troubling rise in antisemitism across our nation in recent years, especially following the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel on October 7 that claimed the lives of over 1,200 Israelis,” Governor Kemp said during a signing ceremony at Georgia’s State Capitol.


“Georgia has not been immune to that horrible reality. Our Jewish students have experienced hate in the form of antisemitic flyers spread across neighborhoods, messages on social media calling for the death of Jews in Israel and around the world and even hateful gatherings outside synagogues.”


He added,” So we’re all thankful for the perseverance and dedication shown in getting this bill across the finish line as we work together to send a clear, unified message. In Georgia, we proudly stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters, today and every day!”


First adopted in 2005 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism states that “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and includes a list of illustrative examples ranging from Holocaust denial to the rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. The definition is used by hundreds of governing institutions, including the US State Department, European Union, and the United Nations and is supported by lawmakers across the political spectrum.

33 US States have adopted the IHRA definition, including Virginia, Texas, New York, and Florida.


“It is encouraging to see state after state adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism at a time when antisemitism continues to run rife throughout America and the greater world,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of civil rights nonprofit StandWithUs, said in a statement addressing Georgia’s action. “Historically, the world has struggled to address antisemitism due to its evolving nature. Codifying the IHRA definition remains crucial to helping authorities realize how antisemitism manifests both classically and contemporarily while serving as an essential tool that will help standardize the fight against antisemitism.”


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