Last night, The New York Times reported that President Trump is set to sign an executive order targeting “anti-Semitism and Israel boycotts on college campuses.” The article stated, “The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, to prompt a federal law penalizing colleges and universities deemed to be shirking their responsibility to foster an open climate for minority students.”
Now that we’ve actually been able to read this executive order, it seems like the NYT got this wrong. But before we get into all that, let’s break down the basics.
What’s an executive order?
An executive order is a rule issued by the president that has the force of law. So, if Trump releases this EO, it becomes, in effect, law.
What does this executive order intend to do?
The proposed Executive Order is meant to make the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to Jewish college students. Why? Under Title VI of that act, the Department of Education can withhold public funding from a school or university that discriminates “on the ground of race, color, or national origin.” Not included? Religion.
Therefore, by classifying Jews as part of a “nationality” with a “shared national origin,” they can become a protected class under this.
Okay, so why do this?
All roads lead back to Israel… By classifying Jews as a “nationality,” thus making them protected under Title VI, the Trump administration will be able to say that boycotting Israel on college campuses is harming Jews, and then they will likely try to withhold funding from schools that promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Trump uses the definition of anti-Semitism cited in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which defines certain types of anti-Israel activity as anti-Semitic, but also says not all Israel criticism should be classified as anti-Semitism.
What does the Executive Order actually say?
This morning, Jewish Insider obtained a draft of the EO that Trump will sign. Nowhere in the order does it explicitly define Jews as a nationality, but calls for the enforcement of “Title VI against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in anti-Semitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI.” So, the text implies: Jews can be perceived as a race or having a common national origin, in order to receive protection under Title VI.
co sie dzieje (wyprawia) na amerykanskich campusach, w tym najlepszych uniwersytetów, mozesz polecic strone:
This list is based on positions expressed by the Presidents of such Universities or others in a position to state a university’s position (e.g., communications staff). We are aware of no university in the U.S. endorsing the boycott. See University statements rejecting academic boycott of Israel.
For decades, the American Studies Association labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It has now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians.
Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East…
The list of Universities condemning the academic boycott of Israel passed by the American Studies Association and two smaller academic groups is growing. New announcements are being made daily, although I expect a lull in new announcements as most universities are closed until after New Year’s Day.