In a recent op-ed, Kristin Greer Love, the Senior Civil Liberties Attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico, criticizes Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for an executive order that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition of antisemitism.”
Love claims that this order, Executive Order 2022-118, poses a threat to constitutional rights, particularly free speech, as it could be used to suppress criticism of Israel’s policies and support for Palestinian rights. It is unclear, however, why the group is only speaking out about the 2022 order now.
The op-ed highlights students in New Mexico expressing their support for Palestine through various actions, including protests and calls to end state subsidies for a leading weapons manufacturer supplying Israel. Love says these actions are protected under both the New Mexico and U.S. constitutions.
Executive Order 2022-118 has drawn criticism for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which, according to Love’s interpretation, conflates criticisms of Israel’s government and support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism.
The ACLU of New Mexico has urged the governor to rescind the executive order. Love emphasizes the flawed nature of the definition, arguing that it inhibits legitimate criticism of Israel without being antisemitic, although attacks on the Jewish people of Israel is, indeed, inherently antisemitic.
The op-ed points to an incident in September where a pro-Israel group attempted to use the executive order to suppress speech at the University of New Mexico. The group claimed that hosting Palestinian poet Mohammed El-Kurd would violate the order, leading to concerns that the executive order could be used to chill speech in the state.
The ACLU of New Mexico advocates for the immediate rescission of Executive Order 2022-118, asserting that restrictions on peaceful speech, protest, and expression have no place in a democratic society. The op-ed urges Governor Lujan Grisham to reconsider the potential impact of the order on civil liberties, particularly on college campuses.
The ACLU has, however, been mum on antisemitic attacks on New Mexico students, including one incident in 2021 where a University of New Mexico student was violently attacked for speaking Hebrew.
Previously, the group attacked Lujan Grisham in September due to her unconstitutional anti-gun orders.