Hate crime bill comes as antisemitism rises
Gov. Noem and Watertown-area lawmaker want more protections for Jews
South Dakota lawmakers will be asked to add antisemitism to the state’s hate crime and prohibited discrimination laws next month.
As acts of discrimination against Jews are on the rise across the country, Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Fred Deutsch are rallying legislators to support a measure explicitly stating in statute that antisemitism is discrimination.
And though South Dakota already makes discrimination based on persons' race, ethnicity, religion, ancestry or national origin illegal, the Watertown-area lawmaker says legislation he’s drafted would ensure authorities are able to enforce those protections for all acts of antisemitism.
“We’re trying to cover all the bases,” Deutsch told The Dakota Scout this week.
It’s necessary, he said, because antisemitism covers more than just discriminations of people practicing Judaism. It also covers attacks on Jewish culture and the Jewish race, said Deutsch, the son of a Holocaust survivor whose grandparents were killed in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.