Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) to introduce the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which directs the U.S. Department of Education to use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic acts on college campuses. Currently, the department lacks a clear definition of antisemitism when determining whether an antisemitic or anti-Israel incident on campus crosses the line from free speech into harassing, unlawful or discriminatory conduct.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, violent language and threats against the Jewish community and Israel increased 488 percent in the first 18 hours after Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, 2023.

“Colleges across the country must protect students against the increasing incidents of hate,” said Boozman. “As antisemitism increases on campuses nationwide, we must ensure intolerance has no place in educational institutions. I’m proud to support this commonsense legislation and promote a safe environment for learning.”

“Our nation’s institutions of higher learning have become hotbeds of antisemitism, especially in the wake of the brutal Hamas terror attacks against Israel and innocent civilians,” said Scott. “It’s critical the Department of Education has the tools and resources it needs to investigate antisemitism and root out this vile hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.”

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, often expressed as hatred, which includes:

  • Calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews;
  • Making dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as the myth of a Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions; 
  • Holocaust denialism;
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nation;
  • Denying the Jewish people, the right to self-determination. For example, claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor (anti-Zionism); and
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act is endorsed by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Jewish Federations of North America, Orthodox Union, Zionist Organization of America, American Jewish Committee, Israeli-American Council, Anti-Defamation League, Christians United for Israel, Endowment for Middle East Truth, Hadassah; and Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. 

In addition to Boozman, cosponsors of the Antisemitism Awareness Act include Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rick Scott (R-FL).