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South Dakota's Gov. Noem Signs the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism Into Law

(Pierre, South Dakota - Mar 06, 2024) -- On March 06, 2024, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed HB-1076 into law. This milestone legislation ensures that South Dakota’s Division of Human Rights will consider the IHRA definition when reviewing unfair or discriminatory practices suspected of antisemitism.

 

StandWithUs thanks the governor as well as State Representative Fred Deutsch and State Senator Jim Melhlhoff for advancing this legislation. StandWithUs also thanks its partners in the IAC for Action, the Israeli American Council, and the National Jewish Advocacy Center, for spearheading this monumental bill. 



Jordan Cope, StandWithUs Director of Policy Education, attended the signing ceremony held Mach 06 in the Capitol Building. He noted: “With antisemitism having exploded worldwide post-October 7, the IHRA definition remains a tool of paramount importance for helping identify and quell the mounting tide of antisemitism. South Dakota’s moral clarity on this matter sets a clear example from which other states ought to draw inspiration as Jews around the world desperately seek assurances of their own safety.”

 

Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO, commented on the necessity of defining antisemitism. “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. 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.”

 

There has been confusion—sometimes intentional—about what adopting the IHRA Definition means. Adopting the IHRA Definition does not create a special non-discrimination class for Jewish people, nor does it impinge on First Amendment rights. The IHRA Definition is simply a guiding tool for how to identify antisemitism that may assist in the application of already-existing rules and laws where antisemitism may be involved. It does not criminalize any speech.

 

HB 1076 clarifies confusion about what antisemitism is by adopting a definition that was drafted by leading world experts to express the needs of antisemitism victims. The IHRA Definition has been adopted or endorsed by over 1,200 governments, institutions, and organizations, including the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and State, governments of roughly 40 countries, the European Union, and the United Nations. The IHRA Definition has been supported by both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations.

 

About StandWithUs

 

StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, nonprofit, and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.

 

Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.

 

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs throughout the U.S., Israel, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands.

 

For the last eleven years, StandWithUs has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and GuideStar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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