Governor Lujan Grisham Has Issued an Executive Order against Antisemitism

Daniella Cressman
"On May 13, 2021, UNM freshman Roni Saponar was viciously beaten by attackers yelling antisemitic slurs. The 19-year-old was hospitalized with internal bleeding." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

For decades, the Jews have been targeted unjustly: they are consistently the most likely of all religious groups to be attacked physically and verbally by hateful organizations and individuals.

“Jews are consistently the most likely of all religious groups to be victimized by incidents of hate; such incidents are increasing at an alarming rate." —Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

The Holocaust is etched in the minds of many: a trauma echo of the past, elements of which have seemingly carried into the present in far too many ways.

In an effort to protect the Jewish community from unwarranted hatred, Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed New Mexico Executive Order 2022-118.

"Michelle Lujan Grisham, explaining why she was signing New Mexico Executive Order 2022-118 'Adopting Working Definition of Antisemitism' from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

Crimes targeting Jews make up more than 50% of all religious hate crimes, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

"'Crimes targeting the Jewish community consistently constitute over half of all religion-based crimes,' according to the Anti-Defamation League. The FBI counted 2,493 hate crimes against Jews in the U.S. in the past three years." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

There are two categories of anti-semitism in the IHRA.

The first category includes physical attacks or threats towards someone solely because they are Jewish:

"The first category includes direct attacks like those on Roni Saponar: physical harm or threats because an individual is Jewish; aiding, justifying or calling for the killing or harming of Jews; making dehumanizing or demonizing — sometimes through stereotyping — comments about Jews including spreading conspiracies of Jews controlling the media, government or other social institutions; and accusing Jews of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing perpetrated by Jewish individuals or groups." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

The second category includes statements against Israel or institutions and Jewish people who support it.

"The second category of examples are more insidious: statements against Israel or against Jews or institutions which support Israel." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

That being said, the governor's executive order is not a law and does not infringe on anyone's First Amendment rights.

"The governor’s executive order is not a law and does not infringe on First Amendment rights. It does not punish or silence criticism of Israel policy, nor does it single out Jews for special or privileged treatment." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

Nonetheless, the definition of anti-semitism illustrated in this executive order is agreed upon by over 30 countries.

"It does agree with more than 30 countries, the European Union, the U.S. departments of State, Education and Justice, the Global Imams Council, Republican and Democratic administrations and other U.S. states, all of which have adopted or endorsed the IHRA definition." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

This executive order will aid law enforcement and other agencies in tracking antisemitic acts.

"The governor’s executive order helps law enforcement and other agencies identify and track antisemitic acts; helps media better understand, report on, and maybe prevent publishing antisemitic letters and op-eds; and maybe – just maybe — sensitizes antisemites to think twice before uttering their bigotry." —Halley S. Faust & Todd Goldblum

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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