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The Indiana Statehouse is attempting to combat antisemitism by saying, “We will make sure Jewish students feel welcome and safe”



Indianapolis, Indiana – Speaker of the Indiana House Todd Huston made it very apparent at Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse that his caucus will prioritize combating antisemitism on college campuses and that the House would approve a revised version of HB 1037.

”We will make sure Jewish students feel welcome and safe here,” Speaker Huston said.

This comes after HB 1037 was unanimously approved by the House in the previous session but was not approved by the Senate. Had the measure been approved, it would have defined antisemitic behavior and made antisemitism a recognized form of discrimination.

”It was a good bill last year; it’s even more appropriate this year,” Speaker Huston said.

The contentious phrase “from the river to the sea” has been seen all around campus, according to Abby Rose, the vice president of Chabad at IU. Some in the Jewish community believe it implies a demand for Israel’s destruction.

”We aren’t feeling safe, and we’ve been experiencing that a lot in Indiana,” Rose said. ”[IU] President Whitten released a statement early on after pressure from students and donors to address the antisemitism on campus, but we’ve seen a great rise in it since then.”

According to the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, there were 400% more antisemitic occurrences throughout the country in the weeks after October 7 than there were in the same period last year.

However, it’s unclear if a revised version of HB 1037 will pass the Senate.

”I think the House is going to work on that again,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said. “We’ll take a look at it when it comes back over here…I haven’t spent much time on that yet.”

Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor stated that acts of hatred directed towards Black, Muslim, and LGBTQ college students are not included in this proposal.

”If we wanted to pick out a group of people to support, that’s not the way we do things in Indiana, we should be wanting to protect everyone,” State Sen. Taylor said.

In a statement, IU said in part:

“Hate has no home at I-U and acts of antisemitism and Islamophobia will not be tolerated.” This comes two weeks after Indiana Rep. Jim Banks wrote a letter to IU President Dr. Pamela Whitten requesting information on alleged antisemitic incidents on campus. His office is requesting that information by December 1, 2023.






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