Jewish Groups Challenge Trump’s Antisemitism Executive Order

December 19, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: WHTT

Israeli partisan Zionists have pushed to equate anti-Zionism to antisemitism. This is being recognized as a way to limit free speech but is being opposed by Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and J-Street. Also, Israeli born activist, Miko Peled, weighs in on the topic in a 6-minute interview, “Is boycotting Israel antiSemitic?” on RT America, Check out our podcast: “Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism.” [Ed.-TEC]

This from Rabbi Alissa Wise at Jewish Voice for Peace  in an email, “Trump is bad for the Jews,” sent on 12/14/2019:

If you’re like me, you are INFURIATED by Trump who just signed an executive order on Wednesday that claims to combat antisemitism on college campuses but actually is designed to shut down Palestinian rights activists. It is a racist, repressive attempt to silence students and academics.

The fight is just getting started, and we can’t let it disappear from the headlines. We plan to run an ad in The Hill to tell everyone in DC that this act has nothing to do with protecting Jews, and we need to raise $13,500 in the next 48 hours to secure the spot. 

Trump’s executive order will do NOTHING to keep Jewish students safe. It won’t protect against Nazis or Nazi recruitment, it won’t prevent campuses from scheduling important events on Jewish holidays, and it won’t protect Jewish religious spaces from armed attackers.

What it will do is incentivize administrators to create harsh rules against even the mildest activism for Palestinian rights – or risk their institutions’ federal funding.

Trump and his cronies are cracking down on student activism because they know it’s working. Since the Palestinian call for BDS began, there have been over 70 successful campus votes on divestment and for resolutions in support of the Palestinian-led boycott….

This from an email, “We See Through Trump’s Executive Order,” sent by Jessica Smith, Chief Operating Officer at J-Street on 12/12/2019:

When President Trump issued a controversial executive order yesterday related to anti-Semitism on college campuses, confusion abounded.

But at J Street, we recognized the impact of the executive order right away — and understood exactly why it’s so dangerous.

The president’s executive order is virtually identical to problematic proposed legislation called the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.”

The legislation, just like this EO, was marketed as addressing the very real threat of anti-Semitism on campuses. But its only real-world impact would have been to chill the freedom of speech of critics of Israel on campus. And that’s what this EO will do. By defining a broad range of criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, the order empowers Trump administration officials to penalize campuses for not sufficiently policing debate and discussion about Israel.

At J Street, we understand that anti-Semitism is a scourge, and we’re committed to fighting vociferously against it in all its forms. But this EO — and the legislation it is based on — are not about fighting anti-Semitism. They are about redefining anti-Semitism to stifle free speech.

Working alongside the ACLU, anti-Semitism scholars and other partners, J Street succeeded in blocking this harmful legislation from passing in Congress. So, now President Trump has circumvented us and Congress — by issuing an executive order.

Even Kenneth S. Stern, the expert who drafted the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by this executive order, has publicly opposed its application to college campuses — writing that “If this bill becomes law…students and faculty members will be scared into silence, and administrators will err on the side of suppressing or censuring speech.”…