Trump to sign executive order that interprets Judaism as a race and nationality, not just religion
The move will help the pro-Israel administration combat anti-Israel sentiments on educational campuses. However, Trump's own words have time and again annoyed the Jewish-American sentiments in the US
President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order on Wednesday, December 11, to interpret Judaism as a nationality and not just a religion. The move, perceived as a controversial one, has been defended by the Trump administration as one that will counter anti-Semitism on college campuses, the New York Times reported.
Educational institutions come under scanner
The move will see the Trump administration taking steps to deal with anti-Israel sentiments and divestment movements that are seen on college campuses by asking the institutions and universities to treat them as discriminatory. This will keep their ways of funding clear.
The move would trigger a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under which educational institutions receiving federal funding to not make discrimination based on national origin, according to Washington's senior officials.
The education department can block federal funding for any college or educational program if discrimination is seen based on race, color or national origin.
However, according to a CNN report, religion is not included in that portion of the act and the Trump administration would have to interpret Judaism as a nationality if it wants to target educational institutions.
The definition of anti-Semitism will be adopted from the State Department, whose definition was formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the officials said. Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner pushed for the move, according to the Times report.
Jewish-Americans not amused by Trump
It was very recently that several Jewish groups slammed Trump over a speech that he gave to an Israeli-American organization in Florida where he said that the Jewish voters had no other option but to back him in the 2020 presidential election.
"A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You're brutal killers, not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me, you have no choice," he said. He was accused of using anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Earlier this year, the president accused the Jewish-Americans who voted for the Democrats as "disloyal". In 2016, too, Trump had a low moment with the Jewish Republicans when he told them that they were not going to vote for him since he did not want their money.
In its foreign affairs, the Trump administration has turned out to be too pro-Israel, leaving a number of his critics at home and abroad upset. While it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also shifted its embassy there, it reversed Washington's long-standing policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank in November.