Originally a bill about the right to a jury trial, this antisemitism redefinition bill requires the use of a distorted definition of antisemitism in hate crimes reporting and sentencing. Criticism of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights could be used as evidence of a hate crime or result in more severe sentences.
The bill amends Arizona law to include antisemitism as one of the categories of discrimination for which the state must collect bias crime statistics, but adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, including its problematic contemporary examples, which include “[a]pplying double standards [to Israel] by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” and “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” The bill requires courts to consider criticism of Israel that falls within the IHRA definition as an aggravating factor for sentencing in criminal convictions.
This bill is nearly identical to previous versions, HB 2683 and SB 1143, which failed to pass in 2020 after civil rights groups and advocates raised concerns over how the definition could be used to chill protected speech. The governor signed HB 2675 in April 2022, and it went into effect in September 2022. Related bills: SB 1713.