GA Gov Kemp Signs IHRA Bill

Georgia becomes the 11th state to adopt definition of antisemitism
February 1, 2024
Photo credit IAC for Action

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill codifying the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism into law on Wednesday.

As previously reported by the Journal, the bill, HB 30, says that the state government will have to “consider” the IHRA definition “in the enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.” It passed the state legislature last Thursday by overwhelming margins.

“Thanks to the work of our legislative partners, I was proud to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and sign HB30 – clearly defining antisemitism in our state,” Kemp posted on X.

Israeli American Council (IAC) CEO Elan Carr said in a statement, “The great State of Georgia has made the clearest possible statement that we’re going to identify, confront, and call out antisemitism, and when it rises to the level of a crime or discrimination, we’re going to use the full force of the law to rout it out. I salute Gov. Kemp and Reps. [John] Carson and [Esther] Panitch for their leadership in fighting for justice during these troubled times.” Carson, a Republican, and Panitch, a Democrat, were the leading sponsors of the bill.

Joe Sabag, executive director of the Israeli American Coalition for Action, the policy arm of the IAC, called the bill “a major step forward for equal protection for Jewish Georgians … Without the IHRA definition, our community was suffering a civil rights deficit, where perpetrators of antisemitic crime and discrimination would target Jews and Jewish institutions and then hide behind the false pretense that they were motivated by anti-Israel politics and not anti-Jewish bigotry,” he said.

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement that it’s “encouraging” to see multiple states adopt IHRA, adding that “codifying the IHRA Definition remains crucial to helping authorities realize how antisemitism manifests both classically and contemporarily while serving as an essential tool that will help standardize the fight against antisemitism.”

Georgia is now the 11th state to have codified IHRA for use in enforcing hate crimes and anti-discrimination laws, while 23 others have expressed support for IHRA, according to the IAC.

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