‘Necessary' or 'misguided'? 6 reactions to House antisemitism bill

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Critics of the Antisemitism Awareness Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week argue that the bill’s language is “unconstitutionally vague” and raises concerns about the First Amendment, particularly when it comes to speech about Israel and the New Testament.

On Wednesday, the House passed the Antisemitism Awareness Act by a 320-91 bi-partisan vote. Seventy Democrats and 21 Republicans voted against the legislation.

The legislation would require the U.S. Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. The IHRA includes such things as denying the Jewish people their right to "self-determination" and labeling the creation of the state of Israel as a "racist endeavor" in its examples of contemporary antisemitism.

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The bill’s passage in the House comes amid a wave of anti-Israel protests and antisemitic incidents on college campuses throughout the country. Jewish students at various higher education institutions have reported incidents of violence, harassment and intimidation, prompting discussions from lawmakers about how to address the ongoing protests. 

Here are six reactions to the Antisemitism Awareness Act from influential figures on both sides of the political aisle. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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