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Landmark bill to combat campus antisemitism passes in South Carolina

The South Carolina state legislature has passed a landmark bill designed to combat antisemitism on college campuses.

The legislation was approved on Friday by 37 votes to 4, having passed through the House of Representatives last month. Governor Henry McMaster has been supportive of the law, and has already committed himself to signing it.

Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law director for legal initiatives, Aviva Vogelstein, commented that “there has been an alarming increase in antisemitism nationwide, and particularly on our nation’s college campuses. This bill gives South Carolina the tools to protect Jewish students’ and all South Carolina students’ right to a learning environment free of unlawful discrimination. Just as two dozen states followed South Carolina’s lead on legislation condemning the movement to boycott certain countries, we are hoping this momentous step will result in another national wave to, once and for all, begin defeating rising antisemitism”.

The Bill incorporates the International Definition of Antisemitism into decision-making processes in Universities, and requires panels hearing complaints of antisemitism to take the International Definition into account when coming to a decision, an absolutely vital step in ensuring that institutions are properly equipped for dealing with the contemporary manifestations of antisemitism.

Against the backdrop of increasing antisemitism in Universities across the western world, measures like this are to be welcomed, both as a sign that those in power are serious about tackling the scourge of antisemitism, and as a genuine, practical measure that will ensure that fewer antisemites escape justice for a lack of correct procedures for identifying antisemitism.