Florida advances bill barring anti-Semitic speech
search

Florida advances bill barring anti-Semitic speech

Proposed law would prohibit making dehumanizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews, likening Israeli policies to Nazi Germany

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, gives the state of the state address on the first day of legislative session March 5, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, gives the state of the state address on the first day of legislative session March 5, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A bill that would define anti-Semitism under Florida law and prohibit religion-based discrimination at public schools and universities advanced Tuesday in the Legislature.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit speech that makes dehumanizing or stereotypical allegations about the Jewish community, or that compares contemporary Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany.

The anti-Semitism definition also would prohibit expressing a hatred for Jews, calling for the killing or harming of a Jewish person, criticizing the collective power of the Jewish community, or accusing Jewish people or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

The bill would require educational institutions to consider this definition when determining if some practice or action constitutes discrimination based on religion.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waves to the gallery as he makes his state of the state speech on the first day of legislative session, March 5, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

The advancement of the bill comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his cabinet moved in January place Airbnb on the state’s list of scrutinized companies over its decision to remove listings of rooms and homes for rent in West Bank settlements.

Airbnb announced in November that it would remove the listings of some 200 apartments and homes for rent in the settlements, but not in Palestinian communities. The company said it consulted with experts to learn about the historical disputes in the region to decide whether it should be doing business in “the occupied territories.”

Airbnb operates in 191 countries and regions and more than 81,000 cities. It announced in January that it would delist two contested Russian-backed autonomous areas in the republic of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abhkazia.

read more:
less
comments
more