What’s wrong with Trump’s directive on “combatting anti-Semitism”? Plenty.
First things first: Trump’s directive on “combating anti-Semitism” does not redefine the Jews as “a race or nationality,” as New York Times et al. keep saying. I’ve attached it here, so you can see that, though the last two sentences of its third paragraph could be taken as implying as much, they don’t quite do so.
Thus Trump’s directive does not directly echo Hitler, who did believe, and ruinously propagated the conviction, that Judaism isn’t a religion but the creed and/or program of a race, as he proclaimed from 1919 right until the bitter end, when he dictated his “political testament,” in which he re-asserted his defiance of “that race, the Jewish race,” and called on his successors to maintain the Nazis’ “merciless resistance” to that scourge,”the poisoner of all nations.”
What Trump’s directive does do is expand the purview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, so that anti-Semitism will now be included with those bigotries against which that law offers some protection: i.e., “discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin.” Thus, while Trump’s directive doesn’t outright redefine the Jews as “a race or nationality,” it permits the government to treat them as if they are—a tweaking of the law that has the likes of Alan Dershowitz in ecstasy (Trump’s order, he predicted wildly,* “will go down in history as one of the most important events in the 2,000-year battle against anti-Semitism”), as such fire-breathing Zionists foresee a holy federal crackdown on BDS and other campus infidels, while those groups fear that Trump’s directive will “incentivize administrators to create harsh rules against even the mildest activism for Palestinian rights,” to quote Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Such joy and lamentation might appear to be unfounded, since Trump’s order doesn’t mention Israel, or anti-Zionism, and so, per se, it does not legally affirm the Zionist equation, “anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism.” But Dershowitz, and all the other Zionist (character) assassins crowing over it, as well as Rabbi Wise, and her fellow-defenders of the Palestinians, know very well that those who wrote Trump’s order didn’t need to have it mention that equation, which has, by now, been propagated widely and relentlessly enough to seem like “common sense” to countless folk who have no clue as to what’s going on in Israel, or to what anti-Semitism is; and it is surely “common sense” to Zionists like Jared Kushner—and, apparently, the New York Times, which, for all its daily anti-Trump hysteria, saw fit to run Ivanka’s husband’s op-ed in euphoric praise of Trump’s “crucial action to support and defend Jewish students in the United States.” Lest there be any doubt as to the order’s purpose as a bullet against BDS, Kushner spells it out:
This new order adopts as its definition of anti-Semitism the language put forth in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, while also accounting for other forms of anti-Semitism.
For example, the alliance defines “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” and those who deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor” or those who compare “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as examples of anti-Semitism.
The Remembrance Alliance definition makes clear what our administration has stated publicly and on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The inclusion of this language with contemporary examples gives critical guidance to agencies enforcing Title VI provisions.
So it’s now open season on all academic critics of the state of Israel, and its incremental genocide of the Palestinians. Now the state can prosecute not only student activists for”anti-Semitism,” but also any teacher who (as I do) sometimes has his students make an honest study of the history of Zionism, the ongoing daily slaughter of the Palestinians, and/or how that gruesome “conflict” has been blacked out or misreported by the Western press. That many of those activists are Jews, and that such study would entail the reading of key works by Jewish anti-Zionists—from Moshe Menuhin and Elmer Berger to Norman Finkelstein and Arno Meyer—might complicate the federal jihad; but if some other Jewish students file complaints that they’ve been victims of such protest and/or study, anybody might be charged and prosecuted, and expelled, or fired.
In that potential crackdown there is some dark irony, and, as well, a sign of hope. The irony lies in the fact that, even though Trump’s order doesn’t clearly redefine Jews as “a race or nationality,” Zionists like Dershowitz and Kushner do evidently see “the Jews” as both a race and nationality—a “chosen people” now empowered by their own state, whose policies and practices may not be freely protested on campus, or thoroughly discussed in class. Thus Dershowitz and all the other Zionists forever screaming about “anti-Semitism” (except in Ukraine) are functioning as Hitler’s Jewish heirs, affirming his delusion that “the Jewish people” are a race (albeit not one “poisonous,” but superior, like the Aryans), and keen to use the state to crush dissent.
This is a dark development, for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and academic freedom in particular—and yet that darkness will, eventually, give way to light; for all this Zionist repression is a sign of desperation, as more and more American Jews, and young Jews in particular, have turned against the Occupation, doing all they can to end it, in alliance with its victims, as their religion teaches them to do.
*Who was battling “anti-Semitism” in 19 A.D.?