THE JERUSALEM POST:
A debate over the definition of antisemitism that has paralyzed Britain’s Labour Party made its way across the Atlantic this week, amid news that the Trump administration would apply a similar standard on discrimination toward Jews under scrutiny there at the US Department of Education.
The matter in question is whether opposing Jewish self-determination in the ancestral Jewish homeland of Israel, a political movement known as Zionism, should be considered antisemitic. Several Western government agencies, including the foreign and justice ministries of the US, Britain and Germany, have policies that deem anti-Zionism a discriminatory practice that uniquely denies Jews the right to govern themselves.
But the Trump administration is now applying that standard in America’s schools, where anti-Israelism has raged in recent years in the form of the BDS movement meant to delegitimize the Jewish state in advancement of the Palestinian cause.
A policy paper released last month by Kenneth Marcus, the assistant secretary of education for civil rights, announced that department would adopt the US State Department definition of antisemitism that applies a test of “three Ds” to determine Jewish discrimination: Delegitimization of Israel, demonization of Israel, and the subjection of Israel to double standards.
That definition classifies opposition to Israel’s existence as a form of antisemitism, according to former officials from the Obama administration, which adopted the definition.
The Senate has advanced legislation in recent months which supports the application of this standard at the education department.
Marcus also announced the reopening of a years-old case involving anti-Israelism, directed toward Jewish students at Rutgers University, in which the department would repackage its argument based on the new policy.