(ATLANTA, GA, 3/27/2023): On Monday, March 27th, 2023 at noon, the Georgia chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GAMVP) and other partners held a press conference in opposition to HB 144.
HB 144 codifies the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Speakers at the press conference said that the IHRA definition and HB 144 wrongly conflate antisemitism with criticism of the Israeli government. The joint press conference was attended by coalition partners, faith leaders, students, and community members.
CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Murtaza Khwaja said in his statement:
“Antisemitism is a very real problem. It deserves our attention and to be addressed. However, HB 144 is not the way to do it. What this bill does is to conflate antisemitism with critique of the state of Israel and that’s evident in the examples that it details – seven of the eleven examples in the bill relating to Israel.”
Khwaja added: “We’ve seen bills like this across the country. CAIR chapters and other groups have fought against them wherever they have occurred because of how they miss the real target, instead hitting legitimate criticism of Israel’s human rights record and compliance with its obligations under international law.”
WATCH FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE
CAIR-Georgia Policy Director, Megan Gordon said in a statement:
“[HB 144] will lead to suppression of protected political speech, targeting of people to speak out against the Israeli government’s human rights violations, and violation of people’s First Amendment rights.”
Georgia Muslim Voter Project Senior Community Organizer Asim Javed said in his remarks:
“We believe this bill unfairly equates Judaism with the State of Israel and criminalizes anti-Israel speech. We stand with Palestinians and others as they voice their grievances against their oppressor.”
ALSO READ ABOUT GEORGIA’S ISRAEL ANTI-BOYCOTT LAW: https://cairgeorgia.org/press-releases/civil-rights-groups-to-announce-federal-lawsuit-against-georgia-s-unconstitutional-israel-anti-boycott-law/
CAIR-Georgia’s mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: Murtaza Khwaja, Executive Director, [email protected], 404 432 8847; Megan Gordon, Policy Manager, [email protected], 678 431 4716; Nida Merchant, [email protected], Communications and Outreach Coordinator, 404 974 7360