Attorney General Todd Rokita Urges Strengthened Antisemitism Legislation in Indiana

Staff report

Indianapolis, Indiana — March 5, 2024

Attorney General Todd Rokita is calling on the Indiana House and Senate to reinforce their commitment to combating antisemitism by passing a robust antisemitism bill aligned with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), according to a press release from Rokita’s office. Rokita’s press release follows the recent unanimous approval of the antisemitism measure by the Indiana House of Representatives, only to witness key components stripped away by an Indiana Senate committee.

Expressing his disappointment, Attorney General Rokita emphasized the widespread support for the original House-approved version. “By overwhelming margins, Hoosiers stand with Israel and the Jewish people,” Rokita stated. “That means explicitly endorsing, in its entirety, the language and perspective of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). If we distance ourselves from the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism, we will be left with a law that is watered down and weak.”

The initial bill, unanimously endorsed by the House, sought to establish a uniform definition to enhance awareness of anti-Jewish discrimination and ensure consistent enforcement, particularly within educational institutions. However, the Senate committee’s revisions omitted language condemning calls for the destruction of Israel, a move Attorney General Rokita deems detrimental. He urged swift action to rectify the Senate version in the House through a conference committee, asserting that anything less would be a betrayal of Jewish individuals and the principle of equal protection under the law.

The proposed legislation defines antisemitism and categorizes it as discrimination based on religion. Attorney General Rokita underscored the urgency of passing the bill in response to a recent study by the Anti-Defamation League, revealing that 73% of Jewish college students have experienced or witnessed antisemitism since the beginning of the school year. Coupled with attacks on Israel on October 7, these events spurred the General Assembly to prioritize the bill’s advancement, a cause actively championed by Attorney General Rokita to safeguard the rights of the Jewish community.

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