Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | February 6, 2023 – Tomorrow the Georgia House Judiciary Committee will vote on HB 30, which codifies the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism when referring to a criminal act of discrimination. The proposed definition institutionalizes a re-definition of antisemitism that conflates criticism of Israel as being anti semitic, making it difficult to fight against real hate and bigotry. The IHRA re-definition incorporates eleven examples, seven of which highlight critical statements of Israel as markers of anti-Semitism.
When President Trump adopted this definition, there was intense criticism by a number of national human rights and civil liberties groups, including ADC, ACLU, Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and editorial boards of leading newspapers (The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post).
By expanding the definition of antisemitism to encompass political speech, the bill criminalizes constitutionally protected speech. Already, the IHRA has been used to target several civil society/university organizations including Amnesty International, Black Lives Matter, the American Friends Services Committee, Doctors without Borders, and Harvard’s Crimson newspaper. It has been used towards human rights activists including Cornel West, Marc Lamont Hill and the late Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
We realize that the State Legislators may not be aware of the history and controversial nature of the IHRA definition, and thus are calling on the House Judiciary Committee to NOT codify this definition of antisemitism and vote NO on HB 30.