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Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Wednesday that seeks to target the “rise of antisemitism in universities” across the state. This order is a direct response to the increasing incidents of antisemitism nationwide and globally, requiring Texas colleges to explicitly define antisemitism in their free speech policies and set forth clear consequences for antisemitic speech.

Governor Abbott’s order emphasizes the state’s zero-tolerance stance on antisemitism. He said, “Antisemitism is never acceptable in Texas, and we will do everything we can to fight it. The State of Texas stands with Israel and the Jewish community, and we must escalate our efforts to protect against antisemitism at Texas colleges and universities and across our state.”

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The move comes in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which was followed by a notable surge in antisemitic and Islamaphobic attacks. This has led to increased scrutiny of top educational institutions across the country, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Columbia University.

Abbott pointed out the trend of rising antisemitic acts, stating, “Across the country, acts of antisemitism have grown in number, size, and danger to the Jewish community since Hamas’ deadly attack on October 7th. Texas took immediate action to protect Jewish schools, synagogues, and other key locations.”

He also acknowledged the efforts of many Texas colleges and universities to denounce antisemitism promptly. However, he also noted the presence of “radical organizations” on campuses that engage in unacceptable activities.


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