South Carolina lawmakers voted 103-3 to overwhelmingly to approve a bill that will help school administrators better combat anti-Semitism at state universities.
“Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise across America and especially on our college campuses,” said South Carolina State Representative Alan Clemmons, who authored and cosponsored the bill.
“I believe this is an overdue and appropriate response that will strengthen our state’s preparedness to deal with acts of anti-Semitism,” he said.
The bill, H.3643, ensures legal protections for Jewish students by using the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, while providing South Carolina’s state universities with the means to fight anti-Jewish discrimination.
Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, had testified at the South Carolina House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in support of the legislation. He said the bill’s passage comes at a crucial time amid growing anti-Semitism throughout the country.
“We applaud the South Carolina legislators for standing up against this growing anti-Jewish bigotry, and in a way that fully protects free speech on campus,” Marcus said.
“We congratulate Representative Clemmons, his colleagues in the Israel Allies Caucus and the Israel Allies Foundation for their successful efforts to fight discrimination on campus,” he added.
The bill will now be sent to the South Carolina Senate for approval.