In ‘Biden’s Strategy to Fight Anti-Semitism Enables Hatred of Jews and Israel’, I take apart the hype over the antisemitism strategy and what it really means.
What it means is that the Biden administration allowed the Left to call half the shots in framing the strategy. And the end result is a complete irrelevance. While the various machers are celebrating, you can find the real bottom line in the Dear Colleague letter generated by the Department of Education.
Antisemitism on college campuses is at an all-time high. Much of it is driven by leftist and Islamist groups harassing Jews over Israel and disgusting their antisemitism as anti-Zionism.
The resulting letter to educational institutions makes no mention of Israel and is nothing more than a generic restatement that Title VI applies to Jewish students. It does note that it “extends to students who experience discrimination, including harassment, based on their actual or perceived: (i) shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics; or (ii) citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity.”
That does cover Israel, but the vast majority of Jewish students being harassed on campus are not Israeli.
The issue is that Jewish students are being targeted because of Israel. Fewer Israeli students are around on American campuses. And fewer of them seem to need protecting.
Compare this to the DOE’s “Combating Discrimination Against AANHPI and MASSA Students” letter which offers examples that could trigger an investigation such as “During a lesson about 9/11, classmates of a Muslim middle school student call him a terrorist and tell him to go back to his country.”
DOE’s Dear Colleague letters offers no such specifics, no meaningful guidance and no serious muscle. The letter is a formality and colleges, including some of the most abusive ones like CUNY and the University of Vermont, know it.