May 29, 2019 — Miami, Florida
American Jewish Committee (AJC) welcomes the Florida state bill on combating anti-Semitism in schools, passed unanimously by Florida’s House and Senate, and signed into law today by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The bill sends a strong signal that Florida will not tolerate anti-Semitism, a cancer that continues to grow and threaten the fabric of society well beyond the Jewish community.
Using the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism, the legislation mandates that discrimination against Jewish people be viewed the same as other acts of racial bias in Florida’s public education institutions. The legislation defines as anti-Semitism calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control, and Holocaust denial.
The legislation recognizes that there may be cases where the fullest possible application of its terms may have an impact on freedom of speech. However, AJC is confident that the authorities and the courts will be alert to such possibilities and take steps to protect that freedom. Those few and borderline cases should not obscure the overarching significance of this legislation.
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, maintains 22 regional offices across the United States, including three in Florida – Miami, Palm Beach, and Sarasota.