White House officials: Trump will delay financial aid for colleges that will not fight anti-Semitism
The presidential order, welcomed by both Democrats and Republicans, calls for cuts to US college budgets that fail to tackle campus anti-Semitic phenomena. Critics have argued that expected policy would limit "freedom of expression and legitimate opposition to Israel"
White House officials: Trump will delay financial aid for colleges that will not fight anti-SemitismPhoto: Reuters, edited by Tal Resnik
US President Donald Trump is expected to sign a presidential decree to cut college budgets that fail to fight anti-Semitism on their campuses - three White House officials told the New York Times last night. The decree would essentially interpret Judaism as a race or nation, and not just as a religion, to promote a federal law that would harm colleges and universities that "renounce their responsibility to foster an open climate for students from minority groups" who fail to deal with anti-Semitic phenomena.
In recent years, Israeli and BDS boycotts have become widespread in campus corridors in the United States, and Jewish students have begun to feel threatened, attacked and unwanted. According to the New York Times, in signing the decree, Trump will use his power to take what Congress abstained from, essentially replicating the bipartisan legislation that has been delayed on Capitol Hill for several years. Many Democrats have joined Republicans in promoting such a change in the fight against anti-Semitism, as well as in the boycott of Israel.
More in Walla! NEWSTrump: "If Kushner doesn't get a deal between Israel and Palestinians - nobody will get" Merkel first visited Auschwitz: "Memory of Nazi Crimes - Part of German Identity" Suspected of hate crime: Dozens of Jewish gravestones have been vandalized in the United States The skin? Content promoted
Opponents say Trump is trying to "silence activism for Palestinian rights." Trump at IAC conference this week (Photo: Reuters)
Donald Trump at the IAC Conference of the Jewish-American Organization in Florida - December 8, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
However, critics have argued that such a policy would limit freedom of expression and "legitimate opposition to Israeli policy toward Palestinians," all in the name of combating anti-Semitism. The definition of anti-Semitism used by the US State Department has been adopted by dozens of other countries around the world, but has been criticized as inclusive and far-reaching. For example, anti-Semitism is described as "denying the right of the Jewish people to self-determination," and such behavior is "the claim that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist experience."
Joseph Munayer, director of the US Palestinian Rights Campaign, said Trump is trying to "silence activism for Palestinian rights" by comparing opposition to Israeli treatment of Palestinians - in anti-Semitism. "Israeli apartheid," he said, "is a very difficult product for sale in America, especially in progressive areas, and when they realize it, many Israeli apartheid apologists, and Trump in it, seek to silence a discussion they know cannot win."More in Walla! NEWS More in Walla! NEWS
4 killed in a shooting incident at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey, 2 suspects were eliminatedTo the full article
New York pro-Palestinian rally, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
A pro-Palestinian rally on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. August 21, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Trump administration officials say the order is not intended to curb freedom of expression. According to them, the White House worked with several Democratic and activist representatives, who often visited the president, to build support during the course. Among those who welcomed the move was Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, who said last year was the third largest wave of anti-Semitism the United States knew. "Of course we hope it will be enforced fairly," Greenblatt said. Jewish students on campus and Jews in general who are discriminated against. The rise of anti-Semitic events is not theoretical, it is empirical. "
Trump administration officials say the order is not intended to curb freedom of expression, Capitol Hill, Washington (Photo: AP)
Capitol Hill, Washington (Photo: AP)
This legislation comes in light of Trump's speech at the IAC, an Israeli-American organization that took place in Florida two days ago, highlighting the United States' commitment to Israel's security, as well as the war on anti-Semitism. "While Israel has been dealing with rocket fire in recent weeks, I have made it clear that my government recognizes Israel's right to defend itself. The United States calls for the return of Israeli prisoners and Hamas-held bodies."
Trump has clarified his government's policy toward anti-Semitism, saying it must not be ignored "We must not ignore the anti-Semitism spread around the world. My administration is committed to fighting anti-Semitism, and we must use every weapon in our hands to fight it." He added that "the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Israel at a time when it did not speak out against any other country. The European Court of Justice has called for boycotting products from the settlements - my administration recognizes Jewish settlers in the settlements. "