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Students Supporting Israel at Indiana University Passes Resolution Adopting the U.S State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism in Student Government.


Michelle Yabes, Brandeis Blog

December 4, 2015
 

On Tuesday, December 2, Students Supporting Israel at Indiana University passed a resolution in its student government that adopts the United States’ State Department’s Definition of Anti-Semitism.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the resolution passed at the Student Association Congress meeting by a vote of 22-6, with six abstentions.

The resolution states that, “the Indiana University Student Association adopts the definition of anti-Semitism as stated above as well as the State Department’s understanding of Anti-Semitism relative to Israel” The Indiana University Student Association commented, stating they recognize “that the Jewish people, like all peoples, have a collective right to self-determination, and considers attempts to undermine these rights, including the global BDS Movement against Israel, to be a form of bigotry”

It also cites the Marcus Policy, initiated by LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus in 2004 during his tenure at the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights. This policy extended Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects students from discrimination based on their race, color, or national origin at federally funded post-secondary educational institutions, to protect Jewish students based on their ethnic or ancestral background.

StandWithUs as well as Indiana Hillel helped the Students Supporting Israel to draft the statement.

The College Fix reported that the “revised version of the resolution distinguishes between the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and those individuals who support it, saying the student government frowns upon “the political platform” of BDS. It also makes explicit that “political criticism of Israel” is allowed.

Similar resolutions have been adopted by the University of California campuses in Los Angeles, Berkeley and Santa Barbara, in addition to the University of Minnesota, University of Georgia, Texas A&M, University of Nevada.



 
 
 
 
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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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Kenneth L. Marcus
Kenneth L. Marcus is President and General Counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and author of The Definition of Anti-Semitism (Oxford University Press: 2015) and Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America (Cambridge University Press: 2010).
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