Kenneth Marcus, founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, on Thursday, commended Florida’s Governor and legislators for signing HB 269 into law.
The act amends existing Florida laws against public nuisance, “prohibiting a person from distributing onto private property any material for the purpose of intimidating or threatening the owner, resident, or invitee of such property,” “prohibiting a person from willfully and maliciously harassing, threatening, or intimidating another person based on the person’s wearing or displaying of any indicia relating to any religious or ethnic heritage,” and “prohibiting the display or projection of images onto a building, structure, or property without permission.”
“We are delighted Florida’s Governor today took strong action to address the alarming spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes by signing Florida’s HB 269,” Marcus said in a statement, adding, “Representatives Caruso and Fine should be congratulated for their leadership and the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County applauded for its work.”
Antisemitic incidents have been rising in Florida for several years, according to an Anti-Defamation League 2022 report. This included antisemitic groups rallying outside Walt Disney World and a Chabad house in Orlando; messages of Jew-hatred displayed on a Jacksonville stadium during a highly watched college football game; and provoking Florida university students with messages supporting Kanye West’s antisemitic tirades.
“We are now seeing a resurgence of right-wing hate crimes in the streets, just as we are seeing left-wing anti-Semitism growing on the campuses. All forms of anti-Semitism must be fought, through all available legal means, and we are pleased that this legislation will provide us with important additional tools to do so in Florida, as we continue to fight this scourge throughout the country,” Marcus said.