The Biden administration has announced that it is taking steps in response to an uptick in anti-Semitism on college and university campuses.
The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security have been assisting campus police departments and local and state law enforcement, according to a White House official on Oct. 30. Additionally, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has been working with campuses.
The Department of Education has “expedited its update of the intake process for discrimination complaints under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to specifically state that certain forms of Antisemitism and Islamophobia are prohibited by this law,” the official said.
In 2019, the Trump administration issued an executive order that adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism as the standard for the federal government in combating hatred toward Jews. In 2016, the State Department under President Barack Obama adopted the IHRA definition.
Dozens of countries also have adopted the standard.
The IHRA definition is: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The action by the Department of Education will, for the first time, “make it clear in the complaint form that discrimination on the basis of national origin in federally funded programs or activities—including ethnic or ancestral slurs or stereotypes against students who are for example Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or Hindu—are forms of prohibited discrimination under this law,” according to a White House official.
Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president, is scheduled on Oct. 30 to host a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization that includes Jewish and pro-Israel groups including the Anti-Defamation League.
Also this week, Domestic Policy Council head Neera Tanden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will host a roundtable with Jewish students at a university that the White House hasn’t identified.
The spike in hate incidents directed toward Jews and Israel comes amid the war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.
College Campus Actions
In one incident, students at George Washington University projected anti-Semitic messages onto the exterior of the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, named for a Jewish couple.
The messages, which eventually were shut down by the police, included, “Free Palestine From the River to the Sea,” which is a call to annihilate Israel; “Glory to Our Martyrs,” which is a celebration of terrorist groups such as Hamas, and “[University] President [Ellen] Granberg is Complicit in Genocide in Gaza.”
At Cooper Union in New York City, Jewish students were trapped inside the school’s library as pro-Palestinian demonstrators banged on the doors and shouted anti-Semitic statements.
At Harvard University, student groups released a statement blaming Israel for the latest acts of terrorism by Hamas.
And Ryna Workman, then-president of New York University School of Law’s Student Bar Association, wrote a newsletter to fellow students “to express, first and foremost, … unwavering and absolute solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance against oppression toward liberation and self-determination.
“Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,” she wrote.
From The Epoch Times