South Carolina Becomes First State to Adopt Uniform Definition of anti-Semitism

Measure to come into effect next year; universities must now take the definition into account when reviewing charges of discrimination or bias

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
University of South Carolina campus
University of South Carolina campusCredit: Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina became the first state to adopt a uniform definition of , but it is only on the books for the next year.

The definition is contained in a proviso to the annual state budget bill, which was signed into law on July 6.

Under the measure, universities must take the definition into account when reviewing .

Efforts earlier this year to pass a permanent version of the law were frustrated when concerns about an impingement on hindered its advance in the Senate.

The proviso uses as its template the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which includes anti-Semitic calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial. It does not target speech, only unprotected conduct such as harassment, assault, and vandalism, according to StandWithUs, an Israel education organization that operates on college campuses, which in a statement praised Gov. Henry McMaster for signing the proviso.

“We need to define Anti-Semitism in order to defeat it.  Thankfully, South Carolina is leading the way,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWIthUs, said.