President Donald Trump's executive order Wednesday is a strike against "anti-Semitic hate" in colleges, and offers support and defense for Jewish students, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner wrote in The New York Times.
"With Wednesday's executive order, the president takes crucial action to support and defend Jewish students in the United States," Kushner, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, wrote in the Times.
"For the first time, a president is making clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act's prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews."
Kushner also rejected any criticism the executive order effectively defines "Jews as a nationality."
"When news of the impending executive order leaked, many rushed to criticize it without understanding its purpose," he wrote. "The executive order does not define Jews as a nationality. It merely says that to the extent that Jews are discriminated against for ethnic, racial or national characteristics, they are entitled to protection by the anti-discrimination law."
Critics also feared the order violates the free speech of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions protesters, but Kushner rejects excusing anti-Semitism as merely an attack on the nation state of Israel.
"Anti-Semites have grown increasingly brazen in claiming that attacks on Israel — and even on Jewish students who may or may not support Israel — are not anti-Semitic," Kushner argued. "It has become fashionable among Jew haters to characterize any discriminatory behavior — no matter how loathsome — not as criticism of Jews, but of Israel. This is a lie.
"Especially on college campuses, where discrimination, harassment and intimidation of Jewish students has become commonplace and is routinely, but wrongly, justified."
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