The House of Representatives approved yesterday Wednesday with its vote the expansion of the definition of anti-Semitism used by the Department of Education, a measure proposed in response to the wave of pro-Palestinian protests sweeping US campuses.

Part of the American political class blames the participants in the mass mobilizations at American universities for “anti-Semitism”invoking, among other things, slogans hostile to Israel, a major US ally in the Middle East.

The law proposal which was approved yesterday by parliamentarians of both parties it practically adopts the definition of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

According to him, “anti-Semitism is a specific perception of Jews that can manifest itself in the expression of hatred against them”, and “rhetorical and practical manifestations of hatred target Jews and/or their property, community institutions and places of worship ».

Critics of the proposed law pointed out that this definition would outlaw forms of criticism of Israel in the US — that’s exactly what the IHRA is after. They accused lawmakers of pushing for its passage to stifle free speech on American college campuses.

“Statements critical of Israel are not in themselves illegal discrimination,” said Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who voted no.

However, in order to enter into force, the specific bill must be approved by the Senate — where its future is still uncertain — and then ratified by Democratic President Joe Biden.