fbpx

South Dakota Legislature Passes IHRA Bill

The Mt. Rushmore State will become the 12th U.S. state to adopt the IRHA’s standard.
[additional-authors]
February 27, 2024
South Dakota State Capitol Building (4nadia/Getty Images)

On Feb. 23, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. It followed the state Senate, which passed the bill the day before. It was sent to the state’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem.

The bill, House Bill 1076, states, “In reviewing, investigating, or deciding whether an alleged violation of this chapter is antisemitic, the Division of Human Rights must consider the definition of antisemitism. For the purposes of this chapter, the term ‘antisemitism’ has the same meaning as the working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance on May 26, 2016, including the contemporary examples of antisemitism identified therein.” According to National Jewish Advocacy Center Director Mark Goldfeder, the bill “requires the consideration of the definition of antisemitism when investigating unfair or discriminatory practices.”

Governor Noem posted on X that she is “looking forward to signing” the bill into law.

According to a press release from the Israel-American Council, South Dakota will become the twelfth state to codify IHRA and 23 others have endorsed the definition.

“The great State of South Dakota has made the clearest possible statement that we’re going to identify, confront, and call out antisemitism.”
– Elan Carr

Jewish groups lauded the bill’s passage. “Rising Jew-hatred is a threat to all Americans, and South Dakotans today should feel deeply proud of what their government is doing to confront this scourge,” IAC CEO Elan Carr said in a statement. “The great State of South Dakota 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 discrimination, we’re going to use the full force of the law to rout it out. I salute the South Dakota Legislature and bill sponsors Rep. Fred Deutsch (R) and Sen. Jim Mehlhaff (R)  for their leadership in fighting for justice during these troubled times. And I continue to thank Gov. Noem for her outstanding leadership.”

StandWithUs Director of Policy Education Jordan Cope said in a statement, “With antisemitism having exploded worldwide post-Oct. 7, the IHRA definition remains a tool of paramount importance for helping identify and quell the mounting tide of antisemitism. South Dakota’s moral clarity on this matter sets a clear example from which other states ought to draw inspiration as Jews around the world desperately seek assurances of their own safety.”

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

From a Jewish Nightmare to an American Dream

But in the spirit of resilience, I’d like to suggest that we dare add something more hopeful to our Seders this year, something more American, something about transforming nightmares into dreams

Six Months

Six months of feeling united as Jews, no matter our backgrounds or religious affiliation.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.