U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week that threatens to withhold federal money from universities that fail to combat anti-Semitism on campus, the White House said.
The order comes as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel is on the rise and has influenced several campuses across America. U.S. campuses have not only become a “safe-place” for left wing causes but a breeding ground to turn young students against Israel—arguably America’s closest ally.
Despite this being an executive order signed by the president and not passed by Congress, several prominent Democrats and Republicans promote such a policy to combat anti-Semitism and the boycott-Israel movement.
“The rise of anti-Semitic incidents is not theoretical; it’s empirical,” said Anti-Defamation League chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt.
The definition of anti-Semitism to be adopted by Department of Education is that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. That definition says anti-Semitism may include “targeting of the state of Israel conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition applauded the move. The group’s chairman Norm Coleman called it “a truly historic and important moment for Jewish Americans” and hailed Trump as “the most pro-Jewish President” in the America’s history.
But critics say that this policy could be used to stifle free speech. A Jewish lobby group, J Street, said in a statement that “Trump’s executive order is a cynical, harmful measure designed to suppress free speech on college campuses, not fight anti-Semitism.”
To be clear, J Street is an anti-Israel Jewish group who is Jewish is name only. They do not represent the mainstream of Judiasm.
Meanwhile French lawmakers passed a similar resolution calling hate of Israel a form of anti-Semitism. The lower house of France’s parliament voted on the draft, which also calls on the government to adopt the definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA.
The IHRA definition also includes comparing Israel to Nazi Germany as an example of anti-Semitism.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz called it “an important step in the battle against anti-Semitism” and urged more countries to follow suit.