President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to combat anti-semitism on college campuses Wednesday. I spent most of the morning and early afternoon calling and emailing every Jewish lawmaker’s office. I requested their comments on the President’s move telling them my deadline was 2 p.m. Eastern Time today.
There are 36 Jewish lawmakers. I only received comments from two them. They happen to be the only two Republican Jewish lawmakers. The rest were silent.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs committee, and Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) were the only lawmakers to comment.
Media reporting that this EO defines Judaism as a nationality is FALSE. It doesn't even define Judaism at all.
Whenever anti-Semitic discrimination is based on race, color or national origin, Title VI protections should absolutely apply.
ALL should enthusiastically support! https://t.co/eNM9n1Ps8l
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 11, 2019
“More great news! Pres Trump today will be signing an EO to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism & help stop anti-Semitic & anti-Israel attacks on American Jews. The hate filled targeting of Jewish Americans has NO place on our college campuses or anywhere else in the US!” Rep. Lee Zeldin wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
He continued, “Media reporting that this EO defines Judaism as a nationality is FALSE. Doesn’t even define Judaism at all. Whenever anti-Semitic discrimination is based on race, color, or national origin, Title VI protections should absolutely apply. ALL should enthusiastically support!”
Anti-Semitism is on the rise across the country, especially on college campuses, and throughout the world. I applaud President Trump for his unwavering support of the Jewish community…Rep. Kustoff
In 2018, anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. were near historic levels, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit on anti-Semitism. The ADL recorded 1,879 anti-Semitic attacks that year.
“Today’s Executive Order sends a strong message that the United States does not tolerate the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks American Jews face every day. Anti-Semitism is on the rise across the country, especially on college campuses, and throughout the world. I applaud President Trump for his unwavering support of the Jewish community and for extending this strong legal protection to those who are discriminated against,” Rep. Kustoff told this reporter.
The President’s order will require government agencies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The IHRA defines anti-Semitism as “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 order will also support college students fighting against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to economically choke the Jewish State of Israel. It will require the Department of Education to hold federally funded universities accountable by adopting anti-Semitism as a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Later, during the signing ceremony Wednesday, Rep. Max Rose appeared next to President Trump at the White House. He later released the following statement.
“Anti-Semitism is incredibly dangerous and rising around the country—and we need to be doing everything possible to ensure it has no place in our communities or college campuses,” Rep. Max Rose said. “I support the President’s Executive Order to prohibit anti-Semitic discrimination and was honored to join him today at the signing ceremony. The fact of the matter is that we need to look past politics and work to make public spaces safer for Jews and all targeted groups.”