Several governmental agencies, in the United States and abroad, have issued reports and guidance documents which address anti-Semitism globally or in particular contexts. This section highlights some of the most important governmental documents with an emphasis on those that are relevant to anti-Semitism in American higher education
Fact Sheet - SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM :
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
The European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, a predecessor to the Fundamental Rights Agency, developed this internationally authoritative Working Definition of Antisemitism, which is important for the specific examples it provides of anti-Israel incidents which meet the definition of anti-Semitism.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civl Rights (OCR) announced for the first time in 2004 that it would investigate certain anti-Semitism claims in this landmark guidance letter authored by LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus during his tenure as acting head of OCR.
OCR elaborated upon its 2004 guidance letter in this official correspondence with the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, emphasizing its commitment not to turn its back on harassment of Jewish American students.
The U.S. Department of State's first formal report to the U.S. Congress on global anti-Semitism is important for its formal application of the EUMC Working Definition to manifestations of the so-called "new anti-Semitism" around the world.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' Findings and Recommendations on Campus Anti-Semitism, principally authored by LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus during his tenure as the Commission's Staff Director, announced that campus anti-Semitism is a "serious problem" warranting closer attention and provided several recommendations that remain important today.
OCR affirmed and expanded upon its 2004 guidance letter in this 2010 Obama Administration "bullying policy", which is really less about bullying than about harassment, including harassment of Jewish Americans and certain other religious groups.
The Civil Rights Commission explored harassment of religious minorities, including Jewish students, in American educational institutions in its 2011 annual report (relying in part on testimony by LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus), which revealed an important gap in U.S. human rights law: to this day, the U.S. Congress has not prohibited religious harassment in federally funded educational institutions.
The California Assembly issued this Resolution Relative to Anti-Semitism in July 2012. It provided an important statement on the need for California public universities to take action against campus anti-Semitism.
“Not long ago, Kenneth Marcus served as one of the government’s top civil rights enforcers, helping Hispanics and blacks fight discrimination. For the past three years, he has been fighting the good fight on behalf of his fellow Jews.”
Jewish News Weekly (June 2011)
If you are concerned about anti-Semitism on your campus, or if you seek advice about best practices, contact us.
David E. Bernstein David E. Bernstein is Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia, where he has been teaching since 1995, interspersed with visiting appointments at the Georgetown, Michigan, and Brooklyn law schools.