New order uses IHRA definition of anti-Jewish bias for campus free speech policies 
המועצה הישראלית-אמריקנית חוגגת את הצו של מושל טקסס אבוט במאבק באנטישמיות בקמפוס

Dear friends,

The Israeli-American Council (IAC), and its legislative and policy-making arm, the Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC For Action), welcomed a new executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott that incorporates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in university free speech policies.

IAC and IAC for Action have strongly advocated for the adoption and implementation of the IHRA definition across multiple U.S. jurisdictions, especially given the appalling rise of antisemitism in American cities, universities, and schools following the October 7 massacre of Israelis by Hamas.

“We commend Governor Abbott for his strong leadership in safeguarding Jewish students on university campuses and for his ongoing support and friendship toward our community,” said IAC for Action Board Chairman Shawn Evanhaim.

“Campus antisemitism has reached crisis levels, and Governor Abbott’s executive order sets a national standard for leadership that we hope other states will follow,” said Elan Carr, IAC’s CEO and former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism. “Jew-hatred is a threat to all Americans, and Governor Abbott made the clearest possible statement that Texas will not tolerate this scourge. Texans should feel deeply proud of what their state is doing to fight for American values. I salute Governor Abbott for his leadership and his abiding friendship for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

IAC for Action’s Executive Director, Joe Sabag, said Abbott’s order “sends an important message, not just within the state, but across the country, that campus antisemitism must be treated with the same seriousness as any other form of discriminatory bigotry. Campuses have experienced  a surge in antisemitic incitement, violence, and harassment since Oct. 7, and the implementation of the IHRA definition in campus policy is a critical step toward addressing it.”

The IHRA definition of antisemitism featured in Governor Abbott’s executive order has broad consensus throughout the United States, across the world, and among Jewish organizations. Over 1,200 national, state, and local governments and major public entities have endorsed the IHRA definition in recent years, among them eight federal agencies, including the Departments of State, Education, and Justice, and 35 U.S. states, 12 of which have incorporated it into law. It has also been endorsed by 51 of the 53 member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Since the October 7 massacre of Israelis by Hamas on, antisemitic incidents have tripled in America relative to the same period last year, and anti-Israel or anti-Zionist prejudice comprises an increasingly large portion of those acts. 2,031 antisemitic incidents were recorded in the U.S. between Oct. 7th and Dec. 7th, 2023, including 250 incidents specifically targeting Jewish institutions such as synagogues, Hillels and Jewish fraternities. 


Thank you all for your support in the ongoing effort to enact meaningful policy across the country to defend our community from antisemitism.

– IAC for Action