New Jersey Senate Reschedules Hearing On Anti-Semitism Bill After Public Outcry

Following a public outcry, the New Jersey state Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee has rescheduled a hearing on a bill that would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism into state law. The hearing, now scheduled for this Monday, marks the third attempt for the bill, which has already been enacted in nearly 40 states and dozens of countries worldwide.

Previous attempts to hold a hearing on the bill were met with opposition. In March, a hearing was cancelled after a large crowd gathered at the statehouse in Trenton to protest the bill. In May, a committee hearing was cancelled just days before it was scheduled to take place, citing “security concerns.”

Agudah NJ Director Shlomo Schorr slammed the hearing’s cancellation.

“The IHRA definition of antisemitism serves as an essential tool in combating the pervasive and insidious threat of antisemitism in our communities,” Schorr said in a statement.

“It provides a clear framework for identifying and addressing acts of hatred and discrimination against Jewish people. By not holding a hearing, we risk missing a critical opportunity to educate, discuss, and adopt measures that could help protect the Jewish community and uphold our state’s commitment to justice and equality,” Schorr continued.

“The need for such a bill is perfectly illustrated by the fact that Jews are being denied the ability to testify in support of a bill granting them protections from antisemitism due to the threat of antisemites disrupting the hearing.”

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

Opponents of the law claim that it stifles free speech and outlaws criticism of Israel.

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