Signing the bill at the State Capitol
Signing the bill at the State CapitolCourtesy

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) on Wednesday applauded South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for signing into law HB 1076, requiring the consideration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism in investigations of unfair or discriminatory practices in the state.

“Governor Noem and the South Dakota State Legislature should be commended for their work in fighting back against the hatred of Jews by adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism,” said Sacha Roytman, CEO of CAM. “All over the world, Jewish communities are facing a surge of antisemitism unprecedented in the post-WWII era, and this bill is a tangible step to help stem that tide. Governor Noem is a true leader in championing this cause and a cherished friend of the Jewish people.”

CAM has been at the forefront of advocating for state governments across the United States to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. This bill, which incorporates the definition, will make discriminatory conduct motivated by antisemitism easier to identify and prove, strengthening South Dakota’s anti-discrimination laws and ensuring the safety of Jewish people.

“Ever since the horrific terrorist attacks on the State of Israel on October 7th, 2023, we have seen a shocking spike in antisemitic acts of hatred around the world, including some isolated incidents right here in South Dakota,” Governor Noem stated. “I am very proud to sign this historic bill to keep our Jewish people secure. I hope more states will follow our leadership.”

The bill’s signing ceremony at the State Capitol in Pierre on Wednesday was attended by dozens of prominent Jewish leaders from across the United States, including former US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr, who is currently a CAM Advisory Board member and CEO of the Israeli-American Council.

“This is an important moment at an urgent time,” Carr said. “By adopting into law and implementing the global standard for defining antisemitism, South Dakota is making a powerful statement that the evil of Jew-hatred has no place in our state or our country. We are deeply grateful to Gov. Noem and to the state legislature, especially to Rep. [Fred] Deutsch and Sen. [Jim] Mehlhaff, for showing principled leadership and for embodying the best of American values. Given the horrors of 10/7 and the appalling rise of anti-Jewish violence and discrimination since, this could not have come at a more important time.”

The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism has been adopted or endorsed by 35 U.S. states.