The Department of Education has launched a campaign against pro-Palestine voices on campus. Many saw it coming.
Last June, the Trump administration nominated Kenneth Marcus for assistant secretary for civil rights and he was approved by the Senate despite getting no Democratic votes, 50-46. Marcus’ nomination was opposed by a number of organizations for a variety of reasons: he supported rolling back campus sexual assault protections, opposed Affirmative Action, and couldn’t identify one example where he disagreed with Donald Trump on the subject of civil rights.
Some of the deepest concerns about Marcus were voiced by activists and groups that advocate for Palestinian rights. Marcus was the founder and president of the pro-Israel Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights, an organization that aims to combat “the resurgent problem of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on university campuses.” Marcus has lobbied to push a definition of anti-Semitism (at the federal and state level) that includes criticism of Israel. He’s also pushed for the defunding of Middle East Studies programs at universities and called on congress to pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bill that would censor pro-Palestinian voices on campuses.