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Bipartisan legislators urge added measures to tackle campus antisemitism

A letter signed by 90-plus members of the House and Senate urges for focused attention on universities.

U.S. Department of Education. Credit: DC Stock Photography/Shutterstock.
U.S. Department of Education. Credit: DC Stock Photography/Shutterstock.

The bipartisan Senate and House Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism has called for the implementation of extra measures to protect Jewish students on U.S. college campuses.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) led a group of more than 90 lawmakers to sign a letter to the U.S. Department of Education that begins: “As members of Congress who are committed to countering antisemitism, we are deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities and college campuses.”

The legislators “strongly encourage the department to continue taking the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism into consideration as it investigates individual incidents of anti-Jewish discrimination and enforces federal civil rights law.”

Statistics from multiple studies backed up such concerns.

One cited a report by the Anti-Defamation League documenting that “antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 41% from 2021 to 2022.” Another reference in the letter asserted that “54% of Jewish students feel that they pay a social cost for supporting the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”

The correspondence concluded with five questions and requests for a briefing by the end of the month.

Some of the signatories of the letter include Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.).

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