The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018 should be shelved.
Is it necessarily anti-Semitic to harshly criticize the Jewish state or to do so without, in the same breath, criticizing Saudi repression?
Freedom of speech on college campuses is under enough pressure without the federal government adding to the problem by threatening to withdraw funding to punish people for expressing their political opinions. That would be a real possibility if Congress enacted and President Trump signed a bill called the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018.
The legislation, which has recently been reintroduced in both chambers, purports to target harassment of Jewish students on college campuses, which has occurred in California and elsewhere.
But this proposal would blur the distinction between unacceptable, intimidating expressions of intolerance directed against Jews with criticism of the state of Israel. The latter, even when expressed in intemperate terms, is protected by the 1st Amendment. . . .