RJC Applauds House Passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act

Washington, DC – The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement applauding the House of Representatives for passing the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which codifies the definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman and CEO Matt Brooks said:

The Antisemitism Awareness Act is a top priority for the Jewish community as we confront spiking antisemitism and we are grateful to Speaker Mike Johnson for understanding the urgent need for action.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism is an essential tool for protecting the civil rights of Jewish students because it recognizes that criticism of Israel is antisemitic when it delegitimizes, demonizes, or applies double standards to the Jewish state.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act builds upon the December 2019 executive order signed by President Trump that formally incorporated the IHRA definition into the implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, giving protection to Jewish students facing antisemitism on college campuses.

At a time when the Jewish community is under unprecedented assault nationwide and when combating antisemitism should be overwhelmingly bipartisan, it is disappointing that Democratic leadership chose to sit on its hands and not whip support for this vital bill. We are also disappointed in the Republicans who voted against the bill.

Given the Biden administration’s record on these matters, Congressional action is needed to ensure that these protections are implemented in full. As RJC noted in May 2023, President Biden blew it on his antisemitism strategy by failing to exclusively use the IHRA definition of antisemitism, the definition favored by mainstream Jewish organizations across the political spectrum, in his long-promised national strategy to counter antisemitism.

We applaud the Members who supported today’s passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act as pernicious antisemitism continues to spike.