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San Diego State Passes Anti-Semitism Resolution
Edward Kunz Brandeis Blog
April 25, 2017

 

On April 19, 2017, the Associated Students at San Diego State University passed “A Resolution to Condemn Anti-Semitism.” The resolution takes a strong line against anti-Semitism, both in its addressing of a series of broad issues and its strict reliance on established definitions and law. The resolution cites both the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism and the Marcus Policy which applies to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Marcus Policy, penned by Louis D. Brandeis Center President Kenneth Marcus, allows Jewish students to be protected under Title VI, based on their status as an ethno-religious minority.

This resolution follows in the footsteps of similar resolutions adopted by universities across the United States, such as UCLA, UCSB, UC Berkeley, Capital U, and Indiana U. Ryerson, a Canadian university based in Toronto, has also adopted a similar resolution. These resolutions mimic the similar legislative attempts to pass bills that define anti-Semitism on both a statewide and federal level. Recently, there have been attempts in South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee all aimed at adopting the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism as it relates to public universities. On the congressional level, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which passed the Senate in December, is awaiting reintroduction in congress this term.

Such resolutions have an impact that cannot be understated when it comes to the fight against anti-Semitism. These resolutions display to the state government that their schools want a stronger definition of anti-Semitism, and one that includes examples of anti-Semitism relative to Israel, in order to combat its resurgence.

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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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Professor Oren Gross
Professor Oren Gross is the Irving Younger Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He was a member of the faculty of the Tel Aviv University Law School in Israel from 1996 to 2002.
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