Rep. Gaetz slams House passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act

 May 3, 2024

As anti-Israel protests continue to erupt across the country, Congress has already taken some level of action to mitigate the situation. 

The House recently passed the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which aims to expand "the legal definition of antisemitism used to enforce anti-discrimination laws."

According to Fox News, the bill, which sounds good on paper to most, drew extreme criticism from unexpected people, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Gaetz blasted the passage of the bill in several social media posts, insisting that the bill was "written without regard for the Constitution, common sense."

What's the deal?

Though the AAA passed with an overwhelming majority of 320--91, it's critics, including Gaetz, came from both sides of the aisle. Gaetz took to social media to blast the passage of the bill and explain his opinion on it.

"This evening, I will vote AGAINST the ridiculous hate speech bill called the ‘Antisemitism Awareness Act,'" he wrote before the vote.

Gaetz noted that he believes the Bible would be considered antisemitism with the current language of the bill.

"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. The Gospel itself would meet the definition of antisemitism under the terms of this bill!"

The Republican lawmaker pointed to one of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definitions of antisemitism, which includes "claims of Jews killing Jesus," to prove his point.

"The Bible is clear. There is no myth or controversy on this. Therefore, I will not support this bill," Gaetz wrote.

Social media reacts

Not surprisingly, Gaetz's criticism of the bill generated a mountain of discussion across social media, with some supporting his stance and others criticizing him for voting against it.

"Thank you for bringing MUCH needed attention to this. The bill is dangerous for many reasons, and this being the most important," one X user wrote.

Another X user wrote, "The fact that this bill is even being brought to a vote shows that there are "people" in Congress who have zero regard for the First Amendment. This is nearly as much of a slap in the face to the American people, as the waving of mini Ukrainian flags on the house floor."

The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law. There's no early indication of when it might hit the upper chamber for a vote.

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