Biden Enables Anti-Semitism On College Campuses

The terrible news seems to come out daily: anti-Semitism on the rise in cities and towns across the country. One of the worst locations is college campuses, where the government has the power to reduce the scourge, and refuses to do so.

Beyond The US And Beyond This Year

To be clear, the problem is not just local and not only recent.

In March 2022, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson saidI think that our universities, for far too long, have been tolerant of casual or indeed systemic anti-Semitism… it’s important that we have an anti-Semitism task force devoted to rooting out anti-Semitism in education,” calling out the Jew hatred in universities.

US President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13899—Combating Anti-Semitism in December 2019 to address the problem, stating “my Administration is committed to combating the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and around the world. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since 2013, and students, in particular, continue to face anti-Semitic harassment in schools and on university and college campuses.”

The United States government was trying to tackle the issue in November 2017 when it held a hearing to consider interpreting Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect Jewish students and other religious minorities from discrimination. At that time, Rabbi Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda, Simon Wiesenthal Center called out for the government to help combat the hatred, arguing that “The failure of schools and Federal Government to protect Jewish students on campus from harassment is one of the most pressing issues for the American Jewish Community.”

But educational institutions and the government are backing away from providing protections to Jewish students on campus.

Failure of Leadership

The City University of New York (CUNY) has seen an enormous spike in anti-Semitic incidents. To combat the menace, over 100 non-profit institutions wrote a letter on June 28, 2022 to the NYC Council Committee on Higher Education to address “the alarming rise of antisemitism on campuses across the country, and at CUNY in particular.” After being postponed once, the committee finally met to address this serious issue, but CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez did not attend. Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was angered at the chancellor’s absence and saidlast night, in a very cowardly fashion, the chancellor said he won’t appear. Instead he sent a lawyer to represent him. What a sham, what an insult to the Jewish community of New York.

President Biden is similarly aware of the scourge of anti-Semitism on campuses and opted to delay action until after mid-term elections.

President Biden is aware of the scourge of anti-Semitism on campuses and opted to delay action until after mid-term elections.

Shortly after Biden took office in February 2021, Kara McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, embraced the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. She saidwe must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action. That is why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, with its real-world examples, is such an invaluable tool.”

It was the logical and appropriate time for Biden to follow-through on Trump’s EO 13899 and the federal government’s efforts to apply the IHRA definition to Title VI. Title VIprohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance.” As most colleges receive federal funds and would collapse without them, and the fact that Jews do not fall neatly into “race, color or national origin,” Jews were counting on inclusion in the Title VI clause together with the working definition of anti-Semitism.

But Biden decided to postpone a decision on the Title VI matter until December 2022, after mid-term elections.

Biden Fears the Far-Left Anti-Zionists

While Biden was willing to champion the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, he fears members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) within his party, and the threat that they will primary incumbent party centrists out of office. The IHRA definition has several references to Israel including “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel“, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” and “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” These anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic statements often come from the mouths of Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Cori Bush (D-MO), members of the DSA. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), a leading shrill voice of the DSA, has stated plainly that her squad will come after centrists if the Democratic leadership doesn’t bend to their extremist policy demands, including lambasting Israel. Biden doesn’t want to anger the squad and risk his party’s slim majority.

President Biden with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (left) and Rep. Debbie Dingell, May 2021. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

While studies have shown that “much of the antisemitic activity [on college campuses] was perpetrated by anti-Zionist students and student groups” at schools with “faculty academic boycotters,” and the federal government has a clear pathway to clamp down on the Jew hatred, President Biden has chosen to place party politics ahead of the safety of the young adults of the most persecuted minority in America.

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Settlements For Peace

The Biden Administration publicly admonished Israel for approving the construction of more Jewish homes in Area C of the West Bank. State Department spokesperson Ned Price saidWe [the Biden Administration] strongly oppose the expansion of settlements… damages the prospects for a two state solution.” The homes are to be built in Revava, Kedumim, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha, Karnei Shomron, Gush Etzion and the Hebron Hills, towns strongly supported by Christian communities in the United States and around the world.

While broadly supported by religious Christians and Jews, the Biden Administration and the European Union attacked the plans for 1,300 Jewish homes, even as they ignored Israel’s approval of over 1,000 homes for Palestinian Arabs in the Israeli territory of Area C, where roughly 14% of West Bank Arabs live.

The rebuke stands in contrast to the reality that Israel has managed to exist with a minority population of 25% non-Jews. A future Palestinian state could similarly exist with several hundred thousand Jews, and the economy of such a state would benefit from Jewish residents bringing stability and trade with Israel.

The true obstacle for an enduring peace – and a two state solution – is the Arab belief that Jews have no rights to live anywhere in the land. Such mindset has guided the Palestinian Authority to have a law calling for either a death sentence or life of hard labor for any Arab selling land to a Jew. It brings the PA to prioritize payments to terrorists who kill Jews over-and-above any other public service. It drives the political-terrorist group HAMAS which runs Gaza, to spend its finite resources on building and firing missiles into Israel rather than building a productive society and economy.

Guided by such anti-Semitic worldview, Palestinians believe that terrorism drove Israel out of Gaza and Areas A and B in the West Bank and will ultimately drive the Jews from Area C and Israel completely. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called all of Israel a “painful settlement” and is ready to be rid of it entirely.

This must stop.

The pathway to an enduring peace is not to forcibly evict half a million Jews from Area C, but to shatter the false idol of a Jew-free state. It is time for the world to tell the Palestinians that Jews will not leave the West Bank nor eastern Jerusalem. The same way that there are Israeli Arabs, there will be Palestinian Jews.

For too long people have embraced the timeless anti-Semitic tradition that Jews should be banned from living somewhere. Denying the human rights of Jews will never bring peace.

It is time to recognize that the road to a peaceful two state solution will be built with the efforts of those Jews living, working and building the West Bank.


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“Which Most of the World Considers Illegal…”

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

The Legal Israeli Settlements

The Jordan Valley in 1930 and 2020

The Best Palestinian Response to the Trump Initiative is Welcoming Jews to Palestine

American Leaders Always Planned on Israel Absorbing Much of the West Bank

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