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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.

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Neo-Nazi arrested by FBI, allegedly planned Synagogue terror attack in South Carolina

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, has been arrested by the FBI after he allegedly attempted to purchase a gun from an FBI agent, allegedly planning to commit a terrorist attack “in the spirit of Dylan Roofe”, the White Supremacist terrorist who murdered nine African American worshippers at a Church in cold blood in 2015.

McDowell met with the FBI agent in South Carolina, who was undercover, believing that he “handled problems for the Aryan Nations”. He said “I got the heart to do that s***, but I don’t have to the good training…if I could do something on a f***** big scale and write on the f***** building or whatever, ‘In the spirit of Dylann Roof.’”

He contacted the agent the next day to obtain a weapon, which he allegedly stated was to use for an attack in the county in which he lives.

The FBI monitored his social media accounts, which they believe indicated that he wished to attack a Conservative Synagogue in his area. The Rabbi of the Synagogue has been advised not to comment on this situation by the FBI.

McDowell has already been brought to trial

The events are a disturbing reminder of the very real threat which is faced by Jewish communities across the world. The security services are to commended by the handling of the situation, identifying a credible threat and apprehending him swiftly. At a time in which a far right terrorist attack is always a possibility, the ability of security services to monitor extremist activity, to understand the nature of threats, and to act swiftly is paramont

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Neo-Nazi threatens Jewish and Muslim students at Spartanburg High Schools

DUNCAN, SC (WSPA) – The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating threats made against both Jewish and Muslim students at Byrnes High School.

Some of the threats included photos of the suspect wearing a gas mask, with a Nazi Iron Cross, and holding a swastika knife. They were made over Facebook.

The student who received the threats immediately reported them to the police. He had been communicating with the suspect on Facebook for some time before the latter’s posts suddenly became threatening.

Deputies say they are working to identify the person behind the threats, and Spartanburg County District Five says law enforcement will be patrolling the school throughout the weekend, performing random sweeps of the campus before students return.

The Superintendent of Spartanburg District 5 released a statement aiming to reassure parents and the wider community. He said they were taking these threats extremely seriously and doing everything possible to secure the campuses for the safety of the students and staff.

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Education Everyday Antisemitism South Carolina

15-year-old South Carolina schoolgirl writes Holocaust denial essay and gets top grade

A young schoolgirl in South Carolina has written a report entitled “Holohoax” for a school project. Her teacher encouraged the young girl by not only giving her an A grade for the project but also conducting a short interview with her about the report and posting it online.

In one passage, she wrote: “The Jews show pictures of hair and clothing of women and children, claiming that they were used for soap and rugs after their owners being stripped of them and brutally killed. However, the truth lies in the fact that ‘The Germans were against typhus, which was the real reason for shaving heads, fumigating buildings, and cremating corpses.’”

She added: “Also, there is no proof of the gassed Jews except for allegations made by hired phony witnesses. According to the Red Cross, ‘Though six million Jews supposedly died in the gas chambers, not one body has ever been autopsied and found to have died of gas poisoning.’”