House Passes Bill That Conflates Criticism of Israel With Antisemitism

The legislation adopts a definition of antisemitism that could be used by the Department of Education to crackdown on college protests

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that conflates criticism of the modern state of Israel with antisemitism and will mandate that definition be used by the Department of Education when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

The bill could be used to crack down on pro-Palestine protesters at college campuses across the country, who have been falsely labeled “antisemitic” despite Jewish students participating in the protests.

The legislation adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which lists “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as an example of antisemitism.

The IHRA also defines antisemitism as applying “double standards” to Israel by “requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” and “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” by “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

The bill passed in a vote of 320-91 and now heads to the Senate for a vote, and received “no” votes from 21 Republicans and 70 Democrats. Opponents said they voted against the legislation because it threatened the First Amendment.

“Antisemitism is wrong, but this legislation is written without regard for the Constitution, common sense, or even the common understanding of the meaning of words,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wrote on X ahead of the vote.

Gaetz pointed to another part of the IHRA’s definition that lists “claims of the Jews killing Jesus” as an example of antisemitism. “The Gospel itself would meet the definition of antisemitism under the terms of this bill!” he said.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) opposed the bill and said it was put forward with the intent to “increase prosecutions of activity on campuses.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) also criticized the bill. “Speech that is critical of Israel alone does not constitute unlawful discrimination,” he said. “By encompassing purely political speech about Israel into Title VI’s ambit, the bill sweeps too broadly.”

Nadler made similar comments last year when opposing a bill that conflated anti-Zionism with antisemitism, noting that there are Jews who oppose Zionism. “This resolution ignores the fact that even today, certain orthodox Hasidic Jewish communities—the Satmars in New York and others—as well as adherents of the pre-state Jewish labor movement have held views that are at odds with the modern Zionist conception,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.