Insane House Passes Bizarre Bill Officially Equating Anti-Israel Rhetoric With Antisemitism

ON 05/02/2024 AT 06 : 38 AM

The House yesterday eagerly passed by a landslide draft legislation which would officially make criticizing the government of Israel an illegal act.

Yesterday the United States House of Representatives responded to the mostly peaceful and rapidly spreading campus demonstrations protesting Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people. They did so not by taking time out to carefully consider the students’ concerns, or to engage in dialogue with them, but by taking the giant leap of declaring many of those protests – and the people carrying them out – unlawful acts of discrimination against zionists. 

The House accomplished this by passing what they call “Antisemitism Awareness Act”. The bold name for the bill was chosen apparently to clarify to those of us not living in the bubble of the U.S. Capitol Building that criticizing the government of Israel in its vicious genocidal war against the Palestinian people in Gaza constitutes antisemitism, a hate crime supposedly against Semites, people from Southwest Asia.

Representative Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.), the bill’s principal architect and lead sponsor, described the immediate impetus for the bill as something which would provide the U.S. government the authority to force college campuses and universities to shut down a widening wave of anti-Israel protests across the United States.

“We must give the Department of Education the tools to … hold college administrators accountable for refusing to address antisemitism on their campuses,” he said in a statement defending the bill from the House floor.

As laid out in the text of the draft bill, the House first twists the protections guaranteed by the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, originally drafted with one of its primary objectives to ban discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, into legal language which if passed would make public criticism of the state of Israel against the law.

The bill accomplishes this through a series of legal gymnastics. It starts by summarizing the Civil Right Act, a law which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is considered one of the fundamental pieces of human rights legislation passed since the original U.S. Constitution was signed. Then it provides a reinterpretation of that law which stretches its scope far beyond its original intent.

These steps are most clearly laid out in Section 2 of the bill, which reads as follows:

“ It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance;

(2) while such title does not cover discrimination based solely on religion, individuals who face discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics do not lose protection under such title for also being members of a group that share a common religion;

(3) discrimination against Jews may give rise to a violation of such title when the discrimination is based on race, color, or national origin, which can include discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics;

(4) it is the policy of the United States to enforce such title against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in antisemitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by such title;”

It then adds for good measure an item (5) to add to this, which references the “U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism issued by the White House on May 25, 2023”. According to the bill, that policy document, which is simply that and not a law, emphasizes that it is “critical to –”

(A) increase awareness and understanding of antisemitism, including its threat to America;

(B) improve safety and security for Jewish communities;

(C) reverse the normalization of antisemitism and counter antisemitic discrimination; and

(D) expand communication and collaboration between communities.

The next trick the new bill does is to incorporate in Section 3 of the proposed law a reference to a “Working Definition of Antisemitism” which “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)” adopted on May 26, 2016, as a non-legally binding description. That definition is as follows:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The IHRA gives examples of what it sees as covered by that definition. One of the most relevant of those with respect to the current growing criticism of the government of Israel’s actions in the brutal slaughter of now over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza is this: “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Though it is not clear how this law if passed will be interpreted, the key phrase which will likely be pounced on in applying it involves “the power of Jews as collective”. It invites charging people with the crime of antisemitism if they make, for example, “demonizing… allegations” of such a group as antisemitism.

If enshrined by example into U.S. law by reference, these examples could become the basis for prosecuting any individual or institution if they were to make such allegations, despite that they are by their nature not about a “race” as such. These also could be the basis for a highly questionable expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts’ protections against discrimination against people based on national origin to people not even present on American soil but who are living in Israel.

As background, “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)” whose plenary published this definition of antisemitism which is referenced in the new bill, was originally incorporated in 2000. Its website states its primary purpose as to to unite “governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research worldwide” and to “uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration and the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration”.

That Ministerial Declaration “contains a series of pledges to remember the Holocaust, educate future generations on the tragic events of the past and strengthen governmental cooperation to work towards a world without genocide”, the website continues.

There are 35 signatories to the IHRA. Israel is one of those of course. So too is the United States. But up until now its tenets have not been linked into published law.

The incorporation of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism occurs in the third section of the proposed bill entitled “Findings”.

As in Section 2, quoting the exact language of the law helps illustrate how cleverly the authors of the bill attempted to lean on the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a proper foundation, then architected a series of changes the original writers of that law could never have anticipated or intended. In doing so, it achieves the stated objective of the bill’s principal author to enable the Federal government and the U.S. Department of Education the right to crack down on what used to be an act protected by the First Amendment as the right of free speech.

Section 3 states that “Congress finds the following:”

(1) Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States and is impacting Jewish students in K–12 schools, colleges, and universities.

(2) The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (referred to in this Act as the “IHRA”) Working Definition of Antisemitism is a vital tool which helps individuals understand and identify the various manifestations of antisemitism.

(3) On December 11, 2019, Executive Order 13899 extended protections against discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to individuals subjected to antisemitism on college and university campuses and tasked Federal agencies to consider the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism when enforcing title VI of such Act.

(4) Since 2018, the Department of Education has used the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism when investigating violations of that title VI.

(5) The use of alternative definitions of antisemitism impairs enforcement efforts by adding multiple standards and may fail to identify many of the modern manifestations of antisemitism.

(6) The White House released the first-ever United States National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism on May 25, 2023, making clear that the fight against this hate is a national, bipartisan priority that must be successfully conducted through a whole-of-government-and-society approach.”

In this section note how the authors of the law carefully inserted not just a reference to the IHSA Working Definition of Antisemitism, but also added in a reference to the 2019 Executive Order signed off when zionist Donald Trump was in the White House. That Executive Order, which has far less legal authority than a law and could easily be challenged in court since it extends the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s coverage to include “individuals subjected to antisemitism on college and university campus” even though that was not part of the law.

If that were not clear enough, Section 4 of the law, “Definitions” states that

"For purposes of this Act, the term “definition of antisemitism”—

(1) means the definition of antisemitism adopted on May 26, 2016, by the IHRA, of which the United States is a member, which definition has been adopted by the Department of State; and

(2) includes the “[c]ontemporary examples of antisemitism” identified in the IHRA definition."

Section 5 of the proposed “Antisemitism Awareness Bill” comes next, with the title “Rule of Construction for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964”. It codifies the powers this proposed Act will provide, by making it now explicit that the Civil Rights Act will now apply to a broader standard than originally proscribed in the Act:

“In reviewing, investigating, or deciding whether there has been a violation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.) on the basis of race, color, or national origin, based on an individual’s actual or perceived shared Jewish ancestry or Jewish ethnic characteristics, the Department of Education shall take into consideration the definition of antisemitism as part of the Department’s assessment of whether the practice was motivated by antisemitic intent.”

Section 6, entitled “Other Rules of Construction” clarifies further how the Department of Education will now have the right to put an end to the newly defined acts of discrimination outlined in the current law, and how it can put pressure on individual universities and colleges to act accordingly.

The logic of how the House members who authored and voted for this bill justify this act of gross governmental overreach and abuse of fundamental constitutional rights of free speech may be convoluted. But that such a large majority of the House members passed the bill, by a vote of 320 to 91, shows just how likely it is this will be passed in some similar form in the Senate. Puppet Joe Biden, who always “stands with Israel” no matter how big the number of those murdered may grow, is also expected to sign off on it, assuming it does eventually reach his desk.

While this may be where this bill could end up, there is some hope in the statements and actions of Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-California). A Jewish member of Congress, she voted against the bill as inadequate in its stated intent to address the causes of antisemitism while encouraging the government to restrain students’ inherent rights to state their opinions and gather as they wish to make them known.

“I voted against H.R. 6090, because it fails to effectively address the very real rise of antisemitism, all while defunding colleges and universities across the country and punishing many, if not all, of the non-violent protesters speaking out against the Israeli military’s conduct,” she said in a public statement after the bill passed the House late yesterday.

“Conflating free speech and hate crimes will not make Jewish students any safer,” she went on. “This bill would stifle First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly. And it would distract from real antisemitism and our efforts to address it.”

What the corrupt idiots in Washington refuse to accept is that many of the campus protesters against the genocide are Jewish and they are being attacked not for being Jewish but for expressing opposition to the criminal actions of the Israeli government.

The treasonous actions of the American Congress in doing the bidding of the fascist zionist Israeli government won't stop the protests. It does clearly illuminate for the American people that their government is the enemy of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech.