Florida representative advocates for stronger enforcement of antisemitism laws on college campuses 

Reporter: Kellie Miller
Published: Updated:

Florida state representative Randy Fine, the state’s only Jewish Republican legislator, is pushing for stricter enforcement of Florida’s robust antisemitism laws, particularly on college campuses. 

“We have the most aggressive antisemitism set of laws in the country,” Fine said. “And that’s great, but now it’s time for us to start using them.”

In a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis, Fine expressed his commitment to combat antisemitism and protect the Jewish community. He stressed that passing laws alone is not enough; it’s time to put them into action.

“For five years, since before you were Governor, I have stood beside you as you committed to fight antisemitism and protect Jews… I am done passing bills. It is time to start using them,” Fine wrote. 

Fine also criticized the idea that antisemitic hate speech often hides behind the shield of free speech, especially when compared to other forms of hate speech that would result in immediate expulsion.

In 2019, Fine sponsored House Bill 741. The law states that antisemitism should be treated the same way as racism within the education system. It imposes significant penalties for targeting Jews, or any religion and for committing crimes driven by such hatred. 

“We have a law that says they can’t do it, and I expect it to be enforced,” Fine said. 

Fine’s proposal includes expelling chartered student organizations that have attempted to “justify the killing of Jews” and revoking their funding.

Additionally, Fine pointed out that taxpayers inadvertently support groups organizing antisemitic events on college campuses, as many of them receive public funding. Overall, Fine said he’s aware of at least five Florida universities permitting antisemitic speech, and he wants this to end. 

“Every student who goes to college or university in the state of Florida, every single one, if they’re not from out of state, half of their tuition is being paid for by you,” Fine said. “And so people are paying for this insanity, and they should be mad about it.”

Representative Fine also discussed House Bill 269, recently signed into law to counter the rising number of anti-semitic incidents in Florida. The bill classifies various antisemitic offenses as first-degree misdemeanors, which can be elevated to third-degree felonies. 

“HB 269 says that if you attack a Jewish person because they’re Jewish, you’re going to go to jail,” Fine said. “If you litter antisemitic garbage on their property, you’re going to jail, if you graffiti antisemitic material on someone’s house, you’re gonna go to prison.”

Ultimately, Representative Fine is advocating for stronger enforcement of Florida’s antisemitism laws on college campuses to protect the Jewish community.

“We say Florida is the best place in America for Jews,” Fine wrote. “It’s time to prove it.”

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