This executive order continues to provide cover for governmental crack down on students organizing for Palestinian rights.
By Josh Ruebner | Mondoweiss | Dec 12, 2019
It is worth noting that the president resorted to this Executive Order only because a similar legislative effort has stalled in Congress due to First Amendment concerns.
President Trump signed yesterday an Executive Order empowering the federal government to crack down on campus organizing for Palestinian rights under the guise of combating antisemitism.
“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 antisemitism,” Trump stated during a White House Hanukkah reception which doubled as a signing ceremony.
But Trump’s Executive Order has nothing to do with combating the scourge of antisemitism, the revival of which he is greatly responsible for by stoking white supremacy. Instead, it is primarily designed to pressure universities to disallow students to boycott for Palestinian rights.
This aim, however, is not self-evident in the text of the Executive Order, which omits any reference to Israel, Palestinians, or BDS. The true intent of Trump’s action is obfuscated in a brief mention that government agencies “shall consider” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and its associated contemporary examples of antisemitism in determining whether Jewish people have had their civil rights violated under Title VI of Civil Rights Act.