New appointments show what the White House's priorities are.
Since assuming office, the Trump administration has been dogged by allegations of either harboring or promoting anti-Semitism. This false narrative has primarily been spearheaded by Trump’s detractors whose motives are at best questionable.
The sudden interest in the subject of anti-Semitism by the Left is puzzling to say the least. During Obama’s tenure, there were over 7,000 recorded acts of Jew-hatred in the United States, many of which occurred at America’s institutions of higher learning. Campus hate groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have been the driving force behind Judeophobic activities on college campuses. Yet the New York Times, Washington Post and other establishment media outlets have been largely silent on the issue of Islamist inspired anti-Semitism.
Few among the Left took the Obama administration to task for failing to recognize the seriousness of the situation. Obama exhibited little interest in addressing this scourge and seemed content with limiting his anti-Jewish bias initiatives to hosting yearly Passover Seders with his obsequious friends and wishing Jews a Happy New Year on Rosh Hashanah. Obama’s allies, including those within the establishment media, seemed content with this do-nothing approach.
Contrary to what the establishment media and many within the Left would have us believe, it is in fact the Obama administration that allowed the malevolent cancer of antisemitism to fester and expand. By contrast, the Trump administration has adopted a robust, proactive approach toward combatting antisemitism both nationally and internationally.
Last week, Trump appointed Kenneth L. Marcus assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education. Marcus has been an outspoken critic of the Office for Civil Rights under Obama’s term for what he characterized as its failure to address anti-Semitic incidents masquerading as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. In 2010 he wrote, “On college campuses — and especially in protests brought by the anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement — it is now widely understood that attacking ‘Jews’ by name is impolitic, but one can smear ‘Zionists’ with impunity.”
Marcus advocates the use of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to combat anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activity on college campuses. Under Title VI, “If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action.” The statute has teeth, and universities falling into non-compliance risk losing taxpayer funding.
The appointment, which barely registered a blip on the mainstream media’s radar, was highly significant for those monitoring incidents of Jew-hate on college campuses and comes of the heels of a revealing report issued by the campus watchdog group AMCHA, documenting how pro-BDS faculty pose a direct threat to Jewish students.
Past reports submitted by AMCHA documented the direct link between Muslim Brotherhood front groups like the SJP, and anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses. For example, According to AMCHA, anti-Semitic incidents are eight times more likely to occur at the universities that host groups like the SJP and its alter ego, the Muslim Student Association (MSA). The new study however, provides troubling proof of the existence of a direct link between pro-BDS faculty and anti-Semitic activity.
“The studies found that schools with one or more faculty boycotters were between four and seven times more likely to play host to incidents of anti-Jewish hostility, and the more faculty boycotters on a campus, the greater the likelihood of such anti-Semitic acts.”
The report’s authors added;
“This new research strongly suggests that at least some faculties, who have signed petitions or statements in support of an academic boycott of Israel, bring their anti-Israel sentiments and support for BDS to campus through their department’s sponsorship of pro-BDS events and those events increase the likelihood of resulting in anti-Jewish hostility on campus.”
It is incumbent upon universities to undertake serious measures to address this problem. Past instances of anti-Semitic activity have been swept under the rug by craven university officials. At CUNY, SFSU and UCI for example, investigations conducted by university officials amounted to nothing more than window dressing or worse, downplayed the significance of maleficent activities conducted by SJP activists. The threat of a Title VI action brought by the United States Department of Education, Department of Justice or other federal agencies should provide the necessary impetus for school officials to finally take substantive measures to address pernicious hate groups like the SJP and the MSA.
Trump has also taken measures to thwart anti-Semitic activity on the international scene. There is perhaps no greater purveyor of antisemitism than the United Nations but the Obama administration emboldened this malevolent entity. Obama will forever be equated with the infamous U.N. Security Council resolution 2334, which singles out Israel, the Mideast’s only democracy, for criticism. He partnered, colluded and schemed with hostile and despotic nations like Venezuela, Egypt and Malaysia in inflicting his parting shot at Israel and the Jewish people.
But the Trump administration has adopted the exact opposite approach. With the appointment of Nikki Haley as UN ambassador, the United States signaled to the world that it would no longer be business as usual at the U.N. As Haley noted in her first speech at UN headquarters, the United States would make sure to have the backs of its allies and ensure that our allies reciprocate. She then warned; “for those who don’t have our back, we’re taking names. We will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
Ambassador Haley wasn’t grandstanding. She has been credited with dramatically changing the tone and tenor of the U.N. She spearheaded the move to withdraw from UNESCO after that body issued several politically motivated, anti-Israel resolutions steeped in fantasy and fabrication. She followed up that action by warning that the United States was prepared to withdraw from other U.N. bodies engaged in similar nefarious misconduct. Haley has her sights set on the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has ideologically partnered with viscerally anti-Semitic organizations and is pushing for primary and secondary boycotts of Israel.
In March, Haley forced Secretary General António Guterres to remove an anti-Semitic report authored by conspiracy theorist and 9-11 truther, Richard Falk, from the U.N.’s website. Shortly thereafter, Rima Khalaf who headed the commission which sanctioned the report and authorized its publishing, resigned in disgrace.
At a U.N. Security Council meeting In October, where the agenda was supposed to focus on Israel and the Palestinians, Haley shifted the emphasis to Iran and its malign regional conduct. This prompted the disgruntled Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, to bitterly note: “Perhaps [Haley] confused the agenda item.” Haley was far from confused. She took the initiative and single handedly transformed the agenda. The UNSC, besotted with criticizing Israel, was now forced to address a real threat instead of focusing on a contrived one.
Some of Trump’s shrillest critics, including the self-destructive Anti-Defamation League, have chided him for failing to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism as his predecessors have done since 2004. But as I have previously noted, the Special Envoy is only as effective as the leadership which issued the appointment. If the leadership is rudderless, apathetic and vacillates on the issue of antisemitism, the role of Special Envoy is substantially diminished and may actually cause harm. This was certainly the case with Obama, who in 2009, appointed J Street shill Hannah Rosenthal, to the post. One prominent analyst referred to her as a “burden,” “a problematic pick,” “an unwelcome distraction,” and “definitely not smart.”
It is evident that when it comes to the issue of anti-Semitism, the Trump administration has taken the bull by the horns. By both word and deed, the administration has made clear that combatting this scourge is a top priority. This represents a refreshing break from the Obama years.