Home World Trump signs executive order targeting college anti-Semitism, Israel boycotts

Trump signs executive order targeting college anti-Semitism, Israel boycotts

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner pushed back on some early criticism of the measure, saying in an op-ed the action “does not define Jews as a nationality.”

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that would effectively allow the government to interpret Judaism as both a race or nationality and a religion under federal law so that the Education Department can take direct action against what he views as anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Trump, joined by lawmakers and administration officials in addition to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, said the order “makes clear” that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would “apply to institutions that traffic in anti-Semitic hate.”

Pointing to past bipartisan efforts to pass similar legislation, Trump said that “they didn’t get it done,” adding, “This year, there’s no roadblock.”

The interpretation would allow the Education Department to withhold funding from college or educational programs it believes are discriminating in an anti-Semitic way. The law states that the Education Department can take such action against a program that discriminates based “on the ground of race, color or national origin” — but not on religion.

The latest order comes largely in response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Israeli government for its treatment of Palestinians. The movement has become prominent on some campuses and resulted in actions that have left some Jewish students feeling targeted.

 

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