COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the United States reached an all-time high in 2022.
South Carolina saw an increase in reported incidents from 2021 to 2022. Brandon Fish with the Charleston Jewish Federation said some of those incidents involved antisemitic flyers, graffiti and harassment in public or social media.
“We’re doing a better job of documenting these incidents. It’s difficult in this state because we don’t have a state hate crimes law. We’re doing a better job of encouraging our community to report these incidents,” Fish said.
Last week, a House Judiciary subcommittee advanced a bill that would define antisemitism in the state codes of law.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Beth Bernstein (D-Richland) is the only Jewish member of the South Carolina General Assembly.
“Despite such surging antisemitism, research shows 50% of Americans do not know what antisemitism is,” she said.
The legislation would adopt into state law the definition for antisemitism established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016.
It’s defined as, “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.”
Supporters say this would help identify illegal discrimination targeting Jewish people. Fish said more than 20 states have adopted this.
The full House Judiciary Committee is expected to take the bill up soon. If they approve it, the legislation will sent to the floor.
Fish said antisemitic incidents can be reported on their website.