On January 25, Democrats in the House turned their backs on the Jewish people. Again. This time they once again lacked the courage and dignity to vote in favor of a bill addressing antisemitism. Last month,. During a special legislative session, the House passed Resolution HR 4EX which condemned the barbaric Hamas attack against Israel. But 64% of the Democrat representatives either voted against the resolution or shirked their responsibility and declined to vote.
House Bill 30 (HB 30) was written to specifically, “to provide for the definition of antisemitism; to require state agencies and departments to consider such definition when determining whether an alleged act was motivated by discriminatory antisemitic intent”.
Several existing sections of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin. In addition to defining antisemitism, HB 30 will, “increase the awareness and understanding of the parameters of contemporary anti-Jewish discrimination in certain circumscribed areas”. Obviously, based on current antisemitic activities, this bill is very timely.
Section 1 of HB 30 states the need for this legislation.
“The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Antisemitism, including harassment on the basis of actual or perceived Jewish origin, ancestry, ethnicity, identity, affiliation, or faith, remains a persistent, pervasive, and disturbing problem in contemporary American society;
(2) Jewish people continue to be a targeted minority in the United States. Data show, for instance, that Jews are consistently the most likely of all religious groups to be victimized by incidents of hate, and that such incidents are increasing at an alarming rate;”
Like many Latinos, I have personally experienced discrimination. As such, I will support any effort to hold people accountable for discriminatory behavior of any type. I don’t understand how any legislator could do otherwise. Yet, 5 Democrats displayed their antisemitism by voting against HB 30 and another 44 representatives either declined to vote or chose to be “excused”.
I will always support legislation that identifies and prohibits discrimination. And it is my hope that my colleagues will put their biases aside and do the same.