A state Senate committee forwarded a bill Thursday which would define anti-Semitism in South Carolina, although opponents said the proposal could restrict criticism of Israel and the country’s actions on the global stage.
The Post and Courier reports five senators on a higher education subcommittee voted to advance the legislation to the full committee. With time running out and just two weeks remaining in this year’s session, the bill may not be taken up by the full committee until next year.
Those in academia such as college students and professors feel the definition in the legislation is too general and could restrict dissent over any Israeli policies or actions.
According to the newspaper, the definition in the proposed legislation is from the U.S. Department of State’s website that defines anti-Semitism as justifying the killing or harming of Jews, making dehumanizing allegations about Jews or accusing Jews of being responsible for “real or imagined” wrongdoing committed by Israel.
The proposed legislation was advanced by the Senate Higher Education subcommittee.