North Carolina Tackles Antisemitism with Landmark ‘Shalom Act’

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North Carolina took a significant step on Monday towards combating antisemitism by passing the “Shalom Act” in the state House of Representatives. The bill, which passed with an overwhelming majority of 105-4, aims to establish the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism into state law.

“North Carolina already has hate crime statutes in place, but there really wasn’t a working definition of what truly constitutes antisemitism,” remarked House Speaker Tim Moore, one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “This is very timely because of what we have seen across this country, and even right here in North Carolina.”

Moore emphasized that the legislation does not create any new criminal penalties but provides a clear definition of antisemitism to guide law enforcement and prosecutors in recognizing and combating antisemitic hate crimes or discrimination.

The IHRA’s working definition adopted in 2016 includes contemporary examples of antisemitism, such as denying Jews their right to self-determination by claiming the State of Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor, comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis, and holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the State of Israel.

The Shalom Act now heads to the state Republican-controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass with very little opposition.

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