Lawler, Moskowitz slam Greene over antisemitism bill pushback

Reps. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) sharply criticized Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Wednesday for her decision to oppose their antisemitism legislation, and for her rationale for opposing it.

Greene in a social media post said she would vote against the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023, introduced by Lawler and Moskowitz last October and passed later Wednesday in a 320-91 vote.

Greene said she opposed the bill because it would define antisemitic behavior to include remarks about Jews killing Jesus, which she said went against the Bible.

Greene said she wasn’t voting for the bill because the new definition “could convict Christians of antisemitism for believing the Gospel that says Jesus was handed over to Herod to be crucified by the Jews.”

“Antisemitism is wrong, but I will not be voting for the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023 (H.R. 6090),” Greene posted.

Lawler appeared to roll his eyes when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Moskowitz for his reaction to her position. Lawler and Moskowitz were making a joint appearance on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

Both said the bill would not make believing in the Gospel illegal, but that it would help police general acts of antisemitism.

“We’re not interested in messing with the Gospel, nor does this language do that, and I don’t think the Jewish community is worried right now what the ‘Jew Laser Lady’ has to say, I mean that’s not who we want on our side,” Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz was referencing an earlier controversy with Greene in which she linked wildfires in California to a space laser and the Rothschild family.

“So, she doesn’t want to be helping us protect communities against antisemitism, we’re not surprised.”

Lawler called Greene’s comments “absurdity” that was “thrown into this discussion at the last minute.”

Lawler said the bill’s text uses a working definition of antisemitism that has been adopted by former President Trump.

The bill would force the Education Department to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism for use in enforcing nationwide antidiscrimination laws.

The group defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” and says “Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The definition also would cover “using the symbols and messages associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.”

Lawler said he is a practicing Irish Italian Catholic who believes in Jesus Christ and the Gospel but said he knows the bill will not prosecute Christians.

“It’s absurd on its face. It’s inflammatory and it’s irrational,” he said of Greene’s argument.

Lawler argued that using the IHRA definition will help combat antisemitism that is happening on college campuses “right now.” He said there are students “hiding behind the conflict between Israel and Hamas and somehow spewing antisemitism, and its being accepted by these universities.”

“So, this bill is targeting that,” Lawler said.

The Hill has reached out to Greene’s office for a comment.

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