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Campus anti-Semitism on the rise
Bob Kellogg One News Now
February 17, 2017

 

Despite a temporary setback, efforts to bring an end to the growing incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses in Virginia have garnered some key support.
Virginia Delegates Dave LaRock and Mark Cole introduced HB 2261 to recognize anti-Semitism as a form of unlawful discriminatory practice. However, the bill was referred to the House Committee on General Laws where it was left last week, meaning it will have to be reintroduced in another session.

LeRock's office reports, however, that even though Virginia's 30-day legislative session ended before the bill was passed, Delegate C. Todd Gilbert (Virginia's deputy majority leader) acknowledged the severity of the growing anti-Semitism on campus and committed to place the initiative at the top of the docket during next year's legislative session.

OneNewsNow spoke with Kenneth Marcus, president of The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which is based in Washington, DC. Marcus says there have been an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses statewide.

"That's not an indication that Virginia is any worse than any other place," he shares. "It's simply a sign of a growing national problem that we are seeing now in Virginia as other people are seeing around the country."

Concerns about student freedom of speech were raised if the bill were passed. But Marcus says constitutional rights would be carefully protected.

"HB 2261 is very careful not to restrict any speech," he says. "It deals with anti-Semitic conduct like assault or battery or vandalism of various sorts."

According to research conducted by Trinity College and Brandeis University, more than half of Jewish students on U.S. campuses reported experiencing or witnessing anti-Semitism in 2014 and 2015. An AMCHA Initiative study showed anti-Semitic incidents at universities increased by 45 percent from 2015 to 2016.

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Research Articles
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Over 50% of Jewish American college students report that they experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism on their campuses during the 2013-2014 academic year. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has announced that campus anti-Semitism “is a serious problem which warrants further attention.” Campus anti-Semitism can include subjecting Jewish students to different treatment, harassment, violence or a hostile environment. In some cases, campus anti-Semitism is related to anti-Israel sentiment. In other cases, it is not. For most purposes, we define anti-Semitism according to the U.S. Department of State definition of anti-Semitism. .
 
 
 
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Judd A. Serotta, Esq.
Judd A. Serotta is a litigation partner at Blank Rome LLP. He has over 16 years of experience successfully litigating complex commercial disputes in a host of different federal and state jurisdictions throughout the United States, as well as through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
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