President Donald Trump plans on Dec. 11 to sign an executive order that would threaten to cut or withhold federal assistance from educational institutions that fail to combat anti-Semitism, according to a senior administration official.
Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the executive order would extend protections against discrimination to people who face anti-Semitism on college campuses, the senior official said on Tuesday.
It would effectively interpret Judaism as not just a religion, but as a race or nationality, in an attempt to prompt a federal law penalizing the educational institutions that fail to act against discrimination on campus, The New York Times reported.
The order “just explains if an incident is anti-Semitic it could fall into a Title 6 violation,” an official told Reuters, referring to Title 6 of the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
“Just because someone is Jewish doesnt mean they should be punished and not receive the same protections for discrimination under Title 6,” the official said.
The move comes as support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement over Israels policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip among university students has surged in recent years, creating an atmosphere of discomfort for some Jewish students.
BDS has, however, received a bipartisan rebuke in the U.S. Congress, causing many states to pass measures against the group.
Last year, 201 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded at colleges and universities by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks acts of racism. This is down from 204 incidents recorded in 2017.
According to a senior official, the executive order would make it clear that Title 6 will comply with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances definition of anti-Semitism, which says it may include “targeting of the state of Israel.”
Some critics have argued that characterizing Judaism as a race or nation is anti-Semitic in itself. Others argued, meanwhile, that participating in boycotts is protected by Americans constitutional right to free speecRead More – Source