Senators Rick Scott & Tim Scott Champion Bill to Combat Antisemitism on College Campuses in Wake of Skyrocketing Incidents

October 27, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) to introduce the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which directs the Department of Education to use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating antisemitic acts on campus. Currently, the Department of Education lacks a clear definition of antisemitism when determining whether an antisemitic or anti-Israel incident on campus crosses the line from free speech into harassing, unlawful or discriminatory conduct.


According to the Anti-Defamation League, violent language and threats against the Jewish community and Israel increased 488% in the first 18 hours after Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, 2023.


Senator Rick Scott said, “I will always stand with Israel and Florida’s Jewish community. Every American has the right to peaceful, free speech, but it’s frankly disgusting that any American who claims to believe in the principles of our nation would choose to side with baby killers and terrorists and spread hate against our Jewish community—especially at our public institutions of education. We’re talking about Iran-backed TERRORISTS who have killed thousands, including 33 Americans, beheaded babies and raped young women, and still have hundreds of hostages held in Gaza. I’m proud to see several Florida universities make clear they stand with Israel and this hate will not be tolerated on campus. I urge every Florida university and all higher education institutions across the country to follow their lead, and every potential employer to make clear that an applicant’s participation in these anti-Semitic rallies is a disqualifier. I am thankful for my colleagues’ support of this crucial bill and urge its immediate passage TODAY.”


The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, often expressed as hatred toward Jews, which includes:

  • Calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews;
  • Making dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as the myth of a Jewish conspiracy or Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions;
  • Holocaust denialism;
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to the interests of their own nation;
  • Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. For example, claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor (anti-Zionism); and
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.


The Antisemitism Awareness Act is endorsed by the:

  • Republican Jewish Coalition;
  • Jewish Federations of North America;
  • Orthodox Union;
  • Zionist Organization of America;
  • American Jewish Committee;
  • Israeli-American Council;
  • Anti-Defamation League;
  • Christians United for Israel;
  • Endowment for Middle East Truth;
  • Hadassah; and
  • Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.


Cosponsors of the Antisemitism Awareness Act include Senators Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).


Last week, Senators Rick Scott and Tim Scott introduced the Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act to defund colleges and universities that peddle antisemitism or authorize, fund or facilitate events that promote violent antisemitism.