Virginia GOP Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed anti-speech legislation that makes Virginia the 30th state in the union to accept an international definition of antisemitism that, among other things, labels those who criticize the nation of Israel as antisemites. Youngkin’s signing of the legislation is part of a broader Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative that his administration says will “combat antisemitism”.
Governor Glenn Youngkin signed House Bill 1606 at a ceremonial signing on Monday, officially adopting the “working definition of antisemitism,” which was concocted in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Though the Youngkin Administration says that the definition is not legally binding, it has been used repeatedly around the world to stifle free speech and paint critics of Israeli policy as antisemites.
The legislation reads:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
That the Commonwealth adopts the non-legally binding Working Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance on May 26, 2016, including the contemporary examples of antisemitism set forth therein, exclusively as a tool and guide for training, education, recognizing, and combating antisemitic hate crimes or discrimination and for tracking and reporting antisemitic incidents in the Commonwealth.
An additional line at the bottom of the bill claims that “this act shall not be construed to diminish or infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Virginia.”
According to the working definition itself, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
To add credence to the “working definition,” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance lists several examples of speech that it says make one an antisemite. The examples, which along with the definition have been officially adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia, can be read in the screenshot below.
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The legislation was supported by a uni-party coalition of Virginia legislators, though some dissenters did cite the anti-speech message that the legislation sends.
Among the most ardent supporters of adopting the “working definition” is Jewish Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn, the Northam-era Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. Recently, Filler-Corn used Judaism as justification for abortion as she seemingly admitted that child sacrifice rituals are part of the Jewish faith, saying in a speech to the Virginia House of Delegates that banning or limiting abortion in Virginia would violate her First Amendment right to religious liberty.
Video: Jewish Democrat Says Banning Abortion Violates Her ‘Religious Liberty’
The signing of House Bill 1606 doesn’t mark the first time that Glenn Youngkin has jumped on the social justice bandwagon of the uni-party establishment. In a 2021 campaign ad, then-candidate Youngkin blamed white supremacists for Virginia’s massive crime increase which, in reality, was spurred by a huge wave of minority crime and pro-criminal Democrat policies.
As National File reported at the time:
Conservatives blasted the ad online, with Scott Greer posting to Twitter that the ad “implies white supremacists are causing the crime increase in the state,” and later linking to an article profiling donations made by Youngkin to the extreme-left Southern Poverty Law Center when he served as CEO of The Carlyle Group.
Read More: GOP Nominee Glenn Youngkin Blames White Supremacists for Virginia’s Crime Increase in New Campaign Ad
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