COLUMBUS, OHIO (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine has signed an executive order that sets a clear definition for anti-Semitic acts – with hopes of stopping it altogether.
This order will give all state agencies, departments, boards, public colleges and universities a singular definition to work off of when dealing with a possible anti-Semitic act.
Members of the Columbus Jewish community applaud the order saying this is a step in the right direction.
“We are not going anywhere in our community. We are incredibly proud,” Jewish Columbus CEO Joel Marcovitch said.
The Jewish Columbus organization has been in Central Ohio for more than 100 years. Marcovitch said in that time they’ve experienced some ups and downs.
“So when you see these anti-Semitic protests, or the anti-Semitism that is happening in and around the state of Ohio. Especially now, [with] what happened at CTA a couple of weeks ago with the guard that was arrested and charged with making threats to Jewish kids,” Marcovitch said. “I mean what has a kindergartener done?”
Marcovitch said Governor DeWine’s executive order defining and combating anti-Semitism is what we need.
“So what Governor DeWine has done is basically said here is the line. Here is the definition. And if you cross that line you will be held accountable,” Marcovitch said. “And we applaud the Governor for this strong stance and his partnership and support of this.”
The order defines anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Marcovitch hopes this will be a learning opportunity especially for the younger generation. He said he has witnessed some alarming behavior from students at Ohio State University.
“There is an opportunity for us to learn from each other, and those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it,” Marcovitch said. “And so for us, when you continuously have people who demonize Jews, delegitimize the state of Israel, and hold it accountable for all the worlds ills — that is a modern-day anti-Semitism.”
Marcovitch hopes this order will spark conversation among people even if it is a difficult one. He said Jewish Columbus opens their doors to anyone wanting to discuss these issues.