October 27, 2023
Contact: Sarah Stern
EMET Profoundly Thanks Representative Mike Lawler (NY), Senator Tim Scott (SC), Representative Josh Gottheimer, (NJ), Representative Max Miller, (OH), and Representative Jared Moskowitz (FL) for Introducing the Antisemitism Awareness Act Which Will Assist in the Protection of Jewish Students on American College Campuses
(October 27, 2023, Washington, DC) – After the heinous atrocities of October 7th in southern Israel where babies were butchered and burned, children were tortured and kidnapped, teenagers and young adults murdered or taken hostage, the elderly and Holocaust survivors snatched from their homes, one would think that the world would understand what Israel has been up against.
With 1400 Jews murdered in a single day, including 20 Americans, and over 200 kidnapped and held in the huge Hamas tunnel network, October 7th has been the single worst day in Jewish history since the Holocaust.
Ironically, however, these events have ushered in a dramatic eruption of antisemitism among our nation’s university campuses. Anti-Israel demonstrations have erupted in force on many university campuses, where a familiar chant is “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” One might do well to ask, “Free of whom?” There is an implicit genocidal message here.
At Harvard University last week, an Israeli-American business school student was physically assaulted, while his attackers hid their faces with their keffiyahs. At Cooper Union University, just a few days ago, Jewish students felt compelled to lock themselves in the library in fear of a mob of protestors who chanted, “Long live the Intifada”. At NYU last Friday, students and faculty over-ran the library, leaving Jewish students feeling vulnerable, scared, and abandoned.
At Columbia University, Professor Joseph Mossad glorified the Hamas atrocities in Israel on October 7, calling them “awesome” and “a stunning victory.” With hundreds of Columbia students coming out to support the terror group Hamas, Jewish students were left frightened, intimidated, and terrified. At Cornell University, Professor Russell Rickford spoke to an anti-Israel rally, telling the students that the Hamas attacks were “exhilarating” and “energizing”. At the University of California at Berkeley, students will receive extra credit this week, for attending a demonstration against “the settler colonial occupation of Gaza.”
EMET has been working for years to ensure that our Jewish and Zionist students receive the same protections under the Constitution as any other minority group. We would not allow any other group to be singled out for abuse in this manner. We all believe in the First Amendment, however, when it comes to this sort of intimidation and threats of personal safety for our students, we must draw the line. Our nation’s universities are supposed to be safe places for learning for all our students.
The definition of antisemitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an indispensable tool that will help university administrators appreciate the distinction between free speech and an assault on one’s very identity.
Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET says, “EMET is abundantly grateful to Representatives Mike Lawler, Josh Gottheimer, Max Miller, and Jared Moskowitz, along with Senator Tim Scott for introducing the Antisemitism Awareness Act. We were happy to take the lead in this bipartisan legislation and are proud that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America, the Republican Jewish Coalition, Hadassah, Combat Antisemitism Movement, the Israeli-American Council, the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, CUFI Action Fund, The American Jewish Committee, ZOA, and the Anti-Defamation League has joined onboard.”
She adds, “This legislation will provide a much-needed tool for university presidents and administrators to ensure the same protections to Jewish students as to any other minority group. I remain profoundly worried about the lack of critical thinking skills among our nation’s youth. There seems to be a mob mentality that has taken over the universities. Antisemitism is always the first indicator of internal societal corrosion. We have learned from history that what starts with Jews, never ends with just the Jews. This bill is a critical first step towards fostering a society that rejects antisemitism and every other form of discrimination, especially now, at this time of heightened tensions.”
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET is a pro-American, pro-Israel, and pro-human rights, foreign policy think tank and policy shop in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org
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