President Trump will sign an executive order that will effectively define Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion, in an effort to crack down on Israel boycotts on college campuses, The New York Times reports.
The order will redefine Judaism as “a race or nationality” to “prompt a federal law penalizing colleges and universities deemed to be shirking their responsibility” to protect students who “feel unwelcome” because of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement at some college campuses, The Times reported.
The order says that “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is anti-Semitic and cites behavior like “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” as an example.
Jewish groups say Trump’s order is anti-Semitic:
The Jewish group If Not Now said the order "is not about keeping Jews safe. It's just more antisemitism."
"The order defines Judaism as a 'nationality,' promoting the classically bigoted idea that American Jews are not, well, American,” the group said in a statement. "Conflating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism is actually antisemitic because it implies that all Jews agree with, and are responsible for, Israel's actions."
Order dubbed “horrifying”:
The Minnesota branch of the group Jewish Community Action called the order “horrifying.”
"As American Jews, we will resist being defined as anything else," the group said. "This is an empty, dishonest manipulation - the President wants to distract us from the truly violent white nationalism he has emboldened, and his own blatant antisemitism. We can't let it work."
Move slammed as anti-free speech:
The liberal Jewish group J Street also condemned the order.
"We feel it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right," group President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement. "It is particularly outrageous and absurd for President Trump to pretend to care about anti-Semitism during the same week in which he once again publicly spouted anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.”