Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order to Punish 'Antisemitic Rhetoric' on College Campuses

Chris Menahan
Mar. 27, 2024

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed an Executive Order on Wednesday to require "all higher education institutions in Texas" to "review their free speech policies" to "establish appropriate punishments for antisemitic rhetoric."

Abbott's comments on his Executive Order are noteworthy as he explicitly names free speech as the enemy and says the goal is to punish people for their speech ("rhetoric").

The Jerusalem Post ran a column in late February calling for "antisemitism" to be "criminalized" worldwide in order to stop criticism of Israel amid their genocidal ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza.

Within two weeks, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed the "strongest" hate crime bill in America into law to "stop antisemitism" and "ensure the security of God's chosen people."

In three weeks, the US House passed a bill to shut down TikTok due to pro-Palestine content outperforming pro-Israel content on the platform.

Canada put forward a bill to fight antisemitism by jailing people for life for "speech crimes" and Britain changed the definition of "extremism" to jail people for "promoting or advancing" an antisemitic "ideology" based on "violence, hatred or intolerance."

Abbott has now also followed suit.

The decision sparked serious backlash on social media with critics asking, "Why is Texas passing special laws for one race and one religion?"

Here are the top responses on Twitter:

All of these bills and executive orders are direct attacks on the First Amendment spitting on the graves of our forefathers who fought and died to secure us our freedoms.

Two and a half centuries of free speech needs to come to an end because no one can be allowed to criticize Israel's genocide of women and children in Gaza.

[Header image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED]

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