Opinion

Florida’s sweeping definition of anti-Semitism limits teachers’ freedom to discuss Palestine

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Ron DeSantis instructs a Florida teacher about Palestine, by Katie Miranda.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called Florida the most Israel-friendly state in the country and he demonstrated the friendship lately by going to the US embassy in Jerusalem to ceremonially sign a new law that prohibits expressions of anti-Semitism in Florida schools. (On that trip DeSantis also endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu for reelection, said Netanyahu could run in the U.S. if things didn’t work out over there, and held a meeting with Cabinet officials in Israel, triggering constitutional concerns).

The new law requires educational institutions to treat anti-Semitism as they would “discrimination motivated by race,” and it passed the Florida House by 114-0 and the Florida Senate by 40-0 in April, despite civil rights concerns. As the Sun Sentinel’s editorial said: “A student accused of anti-Semitism could be disciplined or expelled. A teacher or professor could be fired, entirely on the basis of constitutionally dubious language.”

The new law cites these supposed examples of anti-Semitism:

Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or focusing peace or human rights investigations only on Israel.

Delegitimizing Israel by denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist.

However, criticism of Israel that is similar to criticism toward any other country may not be regarded as anti-Semitic.

 

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Disgraceful. Florida’s dolt of a governor, in his official capacity, went to occupied Palestine and endorsed a candidate for reëlection.

Imagine the brouhaha if, say, Putin travelled to Miami and endorsed tRump for reëlection.

The political bias in that statute stands out as if written with neon lights. Anyone can see that the statute is a desperate attempt to squelch fair comment and insulate the Zionist entity from well-deserved criticism. → Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is… Read more »

What some people will do to get those Jewish votes, and Israel’s support. Shame.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called Florida the most Israel-friendly state in the country and he demonstrated the friendship lately by going to the US embassy in Jerusalem to ceremonially sign a new law that prohibits expressions of anti-Semitism in Florida schools. (On that trip DeSantis also endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu… Read more »

“It’s funny how Zionists say that Israel shouldn’t be “singled out” for special treatment even as they “single out” Israel for special treatment.” A little gem from the Times of Israel which neatly highlights the “special treatment ” which Zioland receives from the US: “Speaking of his own achievements and… Read more »