Florida removes ‘shylock’ from statutes


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Florida’s governor signed legislation removing the word "shylock" from Florida statutes.

The term was used in Florida’s laws dealing with unlawful money lending.

Shylock was the Jewish moneylender in the Shakespeare play "The Merchant of Venice" who demanded a pound of flesh for unpaid loans. The term is offensive to Jews and is considered anti-Semitic and derogatory. 

"Today I am proud to sign legislation that honors Florida’s Jewish community by removing harmful language from Florida’s criminal money-lending laws," Gov. Charlie Crist said in signing the bill Monday. "Harmful terms that communicate hate have no place in our society — and especially not in our laws — and the removal of this language is long overdue."

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