Controversial Antisemitism Bill Clears House Rules Committee

( – The US House of Representatives is set to vote on a controversial bipartisan antisemitism bill that passed the House Committee on Rules after receiving backlash from some Democrats.

The controversial bill aims to codify the definition of antisemitism, which critics believe would limit free speech significantly.

If passed, the bill would incorporate the definition of antisemitism provided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) into Title VI, which means that federally funded entities will need to comply with this definition or they would face legal action.

According to House Republicans, a universally accepted definition of antisemitism is necessary to make the safety of Jewish students possible and provide a threshold to law enforcement agencies.

Rules Committee Chairman Michael Burgess suggested that a federally recognized definition would also protect Jewish students from hate speech and discrimination, which should not be covered by the First Amendment.

Another Republican Congressman, Thomas Massie, stated that it is dangerous to set a single definition of antisemitism, adding that the bill did not lay out any definition and just referred to the IHRA definition. However, Massie still voted in favor of the bill.

Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler of New York stated that the bill would introduce sweeping measures to limit free speech, adding that all statements against Israel should not be considered antisemitic.

Nadler also apologized for his previous support of a bill that attempted to codify multiple definitions of antisemitism.

Instead of focusing on codifying a single definition, Nadler urged Republican lawmakers to increase funding for the Department of Education and Department of Justice so that these government agencies can better enforce anti-discrimination laws.

Similarly, the New York Democrat suggested that establishing a national coordinator would be a more effective way to combat antisemitism.

Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon from Pennsylvania also criticized the bill, claiming that Republicans are once again trying to capitalize on their House majority to advance a bill that would only create further divisions among Americans.

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