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Indiana Governor Vetoes Bill Excluding IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) speaks on Jan. 9, 2024, during the State of the State address at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis. Photo: Grace Hollars via Reuters Connect

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) has vetoed an anti-discrimination bill that was excised of the world’s leading definition of antisemitism by lawmakers in the state’s General Assembly who accused it of undermining free speech and squelching criticism of Israel.

The decision came about two weeks after the Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1002, which aimed to define and ban antisemitism in the state’s public education institutions, without the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, despite the state House easily approving a version of the bill with it two months ago.

“While I applaud the General Assembly’s effort to address and define antisemitism, I cannot agree with the outcome,” Holcomb tweeted on Monday. “The language that emerged in the final days of the legislative session fails to incorporate the entire International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition and its important contemporary examples.”

Holcomb added that he does not wish to “leave a void as to Indiana’s stance on antisemitism” and has “signed a proclamation reiterating that Indiana condemns all forms of antisemitism and ensures we join numerous states and countries by supporting the entire IHRA definition with its inextricable examples.”

IHRA, an intergovernmental organization comprising dozens of countries including the US and Israel, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of antisemitism in 2016. Since then, the definition has been widely accepted by Jewish groups and well over 1,000 global entities, from countries to companies. The US State Department, the European Union, and the United Nations all use it.

According to the definition, antisemitism “is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

On Tuesday, Sacha Roytman of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) commended Holcomb for refusing to sign a bill that did not include the definition.

“CAM applauds Governor Holcomb’s decision to veto HB 1002 today,” Roytman said in a press release. “CAM worked closely with the governor’s office and other stakeholders to highlight the bill’s shortcomings, particularly its failure to include 11 examples of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance working definition of antisemitism. These examples are essential for effectively identifying and thus combating antisemitism; without them, the legislation became counterproductive.”

IHRA provides 11 specific, contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere. Beyond classic antisemitic behavior associated with the likes of the medieval period and Nazi Germany, the examples include denial of the Holocaust and newer forms of antisemitism targeting Israel such as demonizing the Jewish state, denying its right to exist, and holding it to standards not expected of any other democratic state.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Indiana Governor Vetoes Bill Excluding IHRA Definition of Antisemitism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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