Students We Have Heard on High

December 12, 2019

About half of American college students have listened to their professors go on anti-Trump tirades. The other 54 percent might get their chance soon, thanks to the president's executive order targeting anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses. In a lot of places, anti-Semitism is even rivaling the most acceptable form of intolerance in higher education: conservatism. And that's exactly why this administration is pushing back.

"This is our message to universities: If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism," the president said at the White House. "It's very simple." Under the policy, the administration would make Judaism a "nationality," so that it would fall under the Civil Rights Act. As CBN's Emily Jones explains, "Religion is not included in that portion of the law so the definition of Judaism must be changed to include national origin for schools to be punished for not doing enough to stop anti-Semitism."

Once the order goes into effect, anything anti-Semitic -- like campus boycotts -- would be grounds for banning funding. That would be a steep price for a lot of universities, who, as FRC's report shows, are really struggling to combat this new wave of intolerance (if they're trying at all). More than 1,700 incidents targeting Jews happened just between 2015-2017. "Most Americans," we explain, "would be mortified to learn that the colleges and universities to which they pay a king's ransom have become safe havens for an increasingly noticeable anti-Semitism that has produced an environment of bullying, intimidation, and fear for Jewish students and academics."

To add insult to injury, FRC's report goes on, "many watchdog groups of the Civil Rights era, most notably the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), have turned a blind eye to this emerging Jew-hatred that fashionably casts itself as a critique of the creation of the state of Israel as just another instance of Western imperialism."

Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, a renowned Holocaust scholar from Indiana University Bloomington, warned about this trend three years ago. "Anti-Semitism has become a serious threat once again..." saying that he had thought that after the demise of the Nazis and knowledge of the destruction they wrought, serious public Jew-hatred was unlikely to surface again in the West in any major way. "I was wrong... Anti-Semitism is on the rise again, and the situation on campuses seems especially acute... We cannot hope to stop it or overturn it immediately, but our goal is to open more eyes toward what is happening, to get more people to start paying attention to contemporary anti-Semitism and the role that hostility to Israel plays in generating it..." Hopefully, the president's order will do exactly that.