U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr reacted Monday to President Trump’s executive order last week targeting anti-Semitism on college campuses, calling it a “game-changer.”
“Most Americans don't know how bad things have gotten on many campuses where Jewish students face harassment, intimidation [and] discrimination," Carr said on “Fox & Friends.” "And the president said, ‘enough is enough.’”
On Wednesday, President Trump signed the executive order, which broadened the federal government’s definition of anti-Semitism to include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which can include criticism of Israel, and instructed it to be used in enforcing laws against discrimination on college campuses under Title VI.
Under the order, the Department of Education could withhold funding from schools that it found in violation of Title VI.
“This is our message to universities: If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism,” Trump said at a White House Hanukkah party last Wednesday.
“What the president said is that no longer will U.S. tax money subsidize anti-Semitism and racism on college campuses,” Carr said on Monday morning.
He explained that the executive order “applies Title VI civil rights protection to Jewish students and, second of all, it adopts the very important standard definition of what anti-Semitism is, that significantly also includes anti-Zionism and anti-Israel activity as defined anti-Semitism.”
More than 200 anti-Semitism incidents at colleges and universities were reported last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Carr noted that “the Internet is one of the chief vectors of this disease” and added that anti-Semitism comes from three sources: “There's the radical left Israel haters, there’s the far right ethnic supremacists and there’s militant Islam.”
“What we’re seeing on campuses is a combustive combination of all three.”
He went on to say, “Just yesterday, I was with a Muslim interfaith leader, I mean you can’t make this up, who was invited to a campus by a Jewish student group to talk about interfaith activity and because he wasn't anti-Israel he was physically assaulted.”
“What's going on is at times physical attacks on Jewish students, on pro-Israel students, and the president said ‘enough is enough,’” Carr continued.
When asked to respond to different news articles criticizing Trump’s executive order, including the Washington Post’s article, “Why President Trump’s executive order to fight anti-Semitism is dangerous for Jews” and National Public Radio’s article “Trump Signs order against anti-Semitism at colleges, worrying free speech advocates,” Carr said, “That's crazy.”
“What's dangerous for Jews is this drumbeat of anti-Semitic intimidation and harassment on college campuses.”
He added, “That’s what’s dangerous for Jews and that's what this executive order is focused on ending.”
“If universities are going to tolerate anti-Semitic bigotry they are going to lose a lot of money. It is going to be very costly,” Carr went on to say. “And so this is really a sea change in the culture of anti-Semitic hate that is sadly alive and well on too many college campuses in our country.”