Indiana bill targeting antisemitism moves to governor without IHRA examples

Mike Speedy, an Indiana state representative urged the Indiana General Assembly to ‘reinsert IHRA and combat antisemitism.’

By David Swindle, JNS

The Indiana state House voted unanimously on Friday to approve an amended antisemitism bill, which includes the text of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism but not its accompanying 11 examples.

House Bill 1002, which now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, originally had the IHRA contemporary examples, but the state Senate removed them.

“Our Jewish students need to feel safe and welcome in our schools, and our goal with House Enrolled Act 1002 is to support Jewish communities by targeting antisemitism in K-12 classrooms and on college campuses,” Chris Jeter, a Republican Indiana state representative, told JNS.

“I’m thankful we included the reference to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which is a critical piece of this legislation and got it through the finish line,” Jeter added.

Aaron Freeman, a state senator who sponsored the bill, said after the Senate voted on Tuesday that he was “frankly disappointed that it’s not everything that I would want this bill to be,” the Indiana Capital Chronicle reported.

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“Politics is about what’s possible. And this is what is possible. It’s a very strong definition of antisemitism,” he added.

Mike Speedy, an Indiana state representative, wrote on Wednesday, “I was proud to co-author HB 1002 to support and protect Jewish students in Indiana.”

“Without the reference to IHRA which was removed in the Senate, the bill is useless and ineffective,” he added. He urged the Indiana General Assembly to “reinsert IHRA and combat antisemitism.”

On Friday, Speedy, a Republican, wrote: “I am thankful that the IGA has agreed that antisemitism has no place in Indiana, and the IHRA reference and definition was incorporated into the final version. I am proud of my coauthorship and vote to protect Jewish students.”

Sacha Roytman, CEO of the Combat Antisemitism Movement, stated prior to the bill’s passage in the House that the IHRA definition, “which is broadly supported by the Jewish community in Indiana and worldwide, is necessary to clearly identify antisemitic incidents.” (A spokeswoman told JNS that Roytman meant to refer to the 11 working examples as well.)

“Without it, authorities and schools lack the tools needed to monitor and effectively combat the rising antisemitism on campuses,” he added.