North Carolina House passes ‘Shalom Act’ to adapt IHRA definition


(JNS) — In a 105-4 vote, the North Carolina House passed House Bill 942, known as the “Shalom Act,” which would make the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism the state’s guidelines in assessing hate crimes.

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The legislation’s sponsor, House Speaker Tim Moore, said in a statement on May 8 following the vote: “I am encouraged by the bipartisan support the bill received today in the House.”

During a press conference before the vote, Moore said, “while I believe roughly 2% of our population is Jewish, we have seen an inordinate amount of antisemitism—behavior, attacks, vandalism, you name it, physical assaults—and enough is enough.”

After an affirmative vote in the state Senate, the bill will require the signature of Gov. Roy Cooper.

“While we as Americans have the right to free speech, hate of any kind has no place in our communities. We cannot address antisemitism if we cannot define it,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Erin Paré.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Altman of Jacksonville, N.C., described how many people seem to misunderstand the recent surge of antisemitism nationwide. “This is probably going to be the most controversial thing I could say,” Altman said. “I don’t think it’s rising; I think it’s coming out of the closet. I don’t think it’s new.”

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