With incidents of antisemitism, hate crimes, and online harassment on the rise in New Jersey, Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic) recently introduced a package of bills with a goal of raising awareness and educating the public as well as putting stronger safety measures in place for New Jersey residents.
The three-bill package includes legislation that will create a statewide definition of antisemitism as well as recognizing both swatting and doxing as crimes in New Jersey.
“Over the last few months, we have seen a disturbingly rapid rise in antisemitism and hate crimes on our college campuses, K-12 schools, houses of worship and online,” said Assemblyman Schaer. “We must remain vigilant in combatting antisemitism and protecting our residents, and it is my hope that by introducing these bills today, we will be doing just that.”
The bills in the legislative package include:
(A3558) – Adopting a statewide definition of antisemitism in order to educate the public, raise awareness of antisemitism, and understand its impact on those it is affecting throughout New Jersey.
(A3560) – Recognizing swatting – a false public alarm when the alarm involves a church, synagogue, temple, or other place of public worship – as a crime in New Jersey.
(A3561) – Recognizing doxing as a crime in New Jersey. A person would commit the crime of doxing if they were to knowingly disclose personal identifying information of another person online without that person’s consent with the purpose of subjecting them to violence or to cause them to fear for their own safety.
“We need to put safeguards in place immediately to protect our residents in everyday life as well as online,” Schaer continued. “It is my hope that these bills will not only make New Jersey a safer place to live, but will also set an example for the rest of the country and the world.”
“In the wake of far too many doxing and swatting incidents targeting the Jewish community and other marginalized communities in recent months, we are grateful that New Jersey has introduced three bills to address the sharply rising antisemitism we have seen here and around the world,” said Scott Richman, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New York/New Jersey. “ADL is committed to fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate in our online and physical spaces, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Assemblyman Schaer and all of our elected leaders to make sure New Jersey’s laws meet this difficult moment.”
“Now more than ever, it’s vital that we provide New Jersey with the tools to make sure residents stay informed and feel safe in their own homes,” said Harris Laufer, State Director, Jewish Federations of New Jersey. “We are grateful for the partnership we have with Assemblyman Schaer and are proud to have such a fierce advocate for our community in Trenton.”
The bills were introduced on Thursday, February 1st and are pending referral to their respective committees.
“The New Jersey State PBA is proud to stand with the sponsors of these bills,” said New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Colligan. “Antisemitism needs to be stamped out in New Jersey and around the world. Providing meaningful protections from harassment for our Jewish residents is not only morally right but timely.”