Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs executive order to fight anti-Semitism on campus

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that would force public colleges and universities to take action against anti-Semitism.

‘Antisemitism is never acceptable in Texas, and we will do everything we can to fight it,’ the governor said.

On March 27, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order to combat anti-Semitism on public college and university campuses.

The executive order will require the state’s public institutions of higher education to “[r]eview and update free speech policies to address the sharp rise in antisemitic speech and acts on university campuses and establish appropriate punishments, including expulsion from the institution,” “[e]nsure that these policies are being enforced on campuses and that groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Students for Justice in Palestine are disciplined for violating these policies,” and “[i]nclude the definition of antisemitism, adopted by the State of Texas in Section 448.001 of the Texas Government Code, in university free speech policies to guide university personnel and students on what constitutes antisemitic speech.”

[RELATED: Columbia launches investigation into Jewish prof who criticized school’s response to anti-Semitism]

“Antisemitism is never acceptable in Texas, and we will do everything we can to fight it,”

 Gov. Abbott said in a March 27 press release. “The State of Texas stands with Israel and the Jewish community, and we must escalate our efforts to protect against antisemitism at Texas colleges and universities and across our state. . . . we must work to ensure that our college campuses are safe spaces for members of the Jewish community.”

The executive order states that university campuses have seen pro-Palestine protests that featured students “chanting antisemitic phrases” like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which the order states “has long been used by Hamas supporters to call for the violent dismantling of the State of Israel and the destruction of the Jewish people who live there.”

The executive order states that “Texas supports free speech” but “that freedom comes with responsibilities for both students and the institutions themselves,” and that “such speech can never incite violence, encourage people to violate the law, harass other students or other Texans, or disrupt the core educational purpose of a university.”

[RELATED: Princeton students host extreme anti-Israel speakers, including one who says Zionists ‘exploited’ the Holocaust]

As a result of the governor’s action, “the chair of the board of regents for each Texas public university system shall report to the Office of the Governor, Budget and Policy Division, that the above actions were taken by each institution of higher education overseen by that board of regents” no later than 90 days after the signing of the order. 

Campus Reform previously reported about Texas Tech University professor Jairo Funez Flores, who was suspended “after posting several profanity-filled anti-Israel posts on X.”

Campus Reform has reached out to Gov. Abbot’s office for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.