Washington (QNN)- US. President Donald Trump announced he will sign an executive order on Wednesday to interpret Judaism as a nationality and not just a religion to fight antisemitism and ‘Israel’ criticism on college campuses.
First reported by the New York Times, the policy would broaden the federal definition of antisemitism, according to administration officials who spoke to various news outlets on condition of anonymity. By expanding protections granted by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to people subjected to antisemitism, the order could also redefine Judaism as a race or nationality.
Title VI criminalizes discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin at colleges and universities that receive federal funding.
“Just because someone is Jewish doesn’t mean they should be punished and not receive the same protections for discrimination under Title 6,” Reuters quoted a senior administration official.
One official said Trump’s order would make it clear that Title VI will apply to antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, according to the Guardian.
The IHRA definition says antisemitism may include “targeting of the state of Israel”.
The move has drawn criticism from human rights activists, as it such a characterization of Judaism as a race or nation is itself antisemitic. Free-speech advocates also have concerns that a broader definition of antisemitism might be used to limit criticism of Israeli government actions and crimes.
An official told the Guardian that the order was not intended to limit freedom of expression and was not aimed at suppressing the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement known as BDS, which aims to support Palestinian aspirations for statehood by refusing to purchase Israeli products or invest in Israeli companies. The movement is on the rise, sparking tension on many college campuses.
Trump himself has been accused of antisemitism and feeding age-old stereotypes against Jewish people.
Last Saturday, he told a Jewish audience at an event in Florida that they had “no choice” but to vote for him “because you’re going to be out of business in about 15 minutes if [the Democrats] get it.”
He also told the audience, to some laughter and cheers: “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all.”