Anti-Semitic hate crimes bill welcome news to local education advocate

Anti-Semitic incidents are at the center of a bill proposed by Florida state lawmakers...
Anti-Semitic incidents are at the center of a bill proposed by Florida state lawmakers Thursday. For local advocate Barbara Goldstein, the move comes not a moment too soon.(MGN)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A group of bipartisan lawmakers hopes to turn a number of Anti-Semitic acts into felonies in Florida.

Led by Rep. Mike Caruso (R- Delray Beach), the group says they’re acting in response to a recent string of hateful acts across the state.

For local Holocaust education advocate Barbara Goldstein, the welcome news couldn’t come soon enough.

“Hate seems to be growing around everywhere in the world, and maybe this bill will be able to address some laws that can fight it,” she said.

“Many countries have already made Anti-Semitism against the law and maybe we can do it in Florida.”

Goldstein is the executive director of the Holocaust Education Resource Council, which works to keep robust Holocaust education in schools.

Combating hate will take both continued efforts inside the classroom, and on the floor of governing bodies, she said.

“We cannot accept hate crimes, and Anti-Semitism is just another form of racism. And we want to make sure it doesn’t continue.”

Tallahassee State Rep. Allison Tant is one of three Democratic sponsors of the bill.

According to a spokesperson for House Democrats, there’s a chance the bill could receive wide bipartisan support, but some in the caucus needed to take a closer look at some of the bill’s language.

In particular, language around flyers with hateful speech that amounts to “felony littering.”