In a bipartisan vote on Wednesday, the State of Texas has now become the first U.S. state to fully utilize the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism to define and determine anti-Jewish acts.
With support from the Governor and state legislators, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the measure on Wednesday, which now is a part of HB3257 that establishes a Texas Holocaust, Genocide and Anti-Semitism Advisory Commission.
As it stands, the commission will strategically work towards producing a biennial study of anti-Semitism in the State with the IHRA definition as a guide. “Anti-Semitism has no place in Texas, and we have a duty to combat it whenever and however it arises,” said Abbott. “That is why I am proud to sign House Bill 3257 into law, which will create the Texas Holocaust, Genocide and Antisemitism Advisory Committee, and bolster our efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism in the Lone Star State.”
The American Jewish Committee’s Dallas director Joel Schwitzer who was also an attendee at the signing claimed that “The use of the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism to guide a state-mandated biennial study will help ensure Texas remains a leader in combating anti-Semitism. Given the sharp uptick in anti-Semitism across America, we are gratified that this legislation has received overwhelming bipartisan support.”
The IHRA definition has been passed by numerous cities and countries in recent months and is believed to be the most comprehensive explanation of what constitutes modern-day anti-Semitism.