NJ’s Attempts to Criminalize Support for Palestinians Bears Scrutiny

The following is the text from a petition signed by almost 2000 in response to attempts by NJ state legislature to conflate support for Palestinian people with anti-Semitism. These attempts to criminalize support for an oppressed nation and people have been kicking around Trenton for years and have been supported by leaders of both prominent political parties. Additional reporting here will cover the current situation in Trenton around our right here in NJ to “say Palestine” – we are not so far from Florida after all, are we? We are reaching out to Jews for Palestinian Right of Return who started the petition to get a current status but these issues still are prevalent in NJ so this editor recommends signing it if you agree.

While this measure was not passed in 2023 it will very likely have some new incarnate this year.

This petition was a subject of a Mondoweiss report.

February 1, 2023

To the New Jersey State Legislature,

You are currently considering Assembly Joint Resolution 211/Senate Joint Resolution 113, titled “Establishes working definition of antisemitism in NJ.” Let’s be clear: this resolution is not about protecting Jewish people. Rather, it exploits legitimate anxieties over rising white nationalist antisemitism in an attempt to silence the movement for Palestinian freedom. We call on you — and all New Jersey citizens — to reject it.

AJR211/SJR113 requires the state of New Jersey to officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “Working Definition of Antisemitism” — a definition that falsely equates “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” with anti-Jewish discrimination, violence, and stereotypes.

Despite disingenuous assurances that it won’t infringe on our constitutionally-protected rights, a joint resolution of the Assembly and Senate that conflates anti-Zionism with antisemitism poses a clear threat to any New Jerseyan who speaks out against 75 years of systematized apartheid, dispossession, and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.

The fight against resurgent right-wing antisemitism must be part of the struggle against ALL forms of racism and oppression, not conducted via resolutions, bills, or policies of any kind that use antisemitism as a pretext to muzzle the call for justice throughout historic Palestine.

New Jersey legislators: reject IHRA and vote NO on AJR211/SJR113.


Al Awda New York/New Jersey: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

American Muslims for Palestine – New Jersey

Black Lives Matter Paterson

Friends of Sabeel North America

Jewish Voice for Peace – Central New Jersey

Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Neturei Karta International

Newark Communities for Accountable Policing

New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ)

North New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group

Palestinian American Community Center

Palestine Legal

People’s Organization for Progress

Rutgers New Brunswick Students for Justice in Palestine

Rutgers Newark Students for Justice in Palestine

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

For further background:

“A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid” (B’Tselem)

“A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” (Human Rights Watch)

“Dismantle Antisemitism, Not Palestinian Rights: Oppose the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism” (Palestine Legal/Jewish Voice for Peace)

“How not to fight antisemitism” (Johnathan Kuttab, Friends of Sabeel North America)

“Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity” (Amnesty International)

“What is the Nakba? Day of catastrophe for Palestinians, explained” (Middle East Eye)