The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Misreading Trump’s executive order on combating anti-Semitism

A Trump yarmulke at the White House on Dec. 11. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

In contrast to suggestions made in the Dec. 13 editorial “More victims of anti-Semitism,” President Trump has supported what many believe to be the most pro-Israel policies in U.S. history. Moreover, the recent shooting at a Jewish deli in Jersey City was purportedly committed by an African American fringe group, which bears no logical connection to the Charlottesville riots.

Furthermore, mainstream Jewish organizations such as Hillel and the Anti-Defamation League track and report on anti-Semitism, specifically on college campuses. Their findings demonstrate that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement unfairly targets the state of Israel and illegally discriminates against U.S. students. The BDS movement provides cover to sideline free speech and outright harassment and abuse of Jewish students and others who support Israel and the civil exchange of ideas.

Jewish citizens and organizations have urged governors, state legislatures, Congress and the president to take effective action to combat the rising anti-Semitism on college campuses, often masked, but no less malicious, as anti-Zionism. Several entities have already passed such legislation, and thankfully Mr. Trump acted with an executive order that codifies that no opinion on the Arab-Israeli conflict can justify harassing, abusing, silencing and denigrating Jewish students.

The editorial suggested that “robust debate and academic freedom will suffer.” Unfortunately, that is precisely the current state of college campus anti-Semitic culture that this executive order appropriately seeks to correct.

Asher Weinberg, Silver Spring

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