BerkeleyArutz Sheva

Farley Weiss and Leonard Grunsteinare authors of the new book Because It’s Just and Right: The Untold Back-Story of the U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

More than nine months have elapsed since the Biden administration released its self-proclaimed ‘first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism” with great fanfare. It has proved to be an abject failure.

Many of us warned that the plan was fatally flawed from the beginning because of its failure to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. As a result of this failure, the plan could not even clearly define the problem it was intended to address. The administration even absurdly cited the Nexus Document’s definition of antisemitism, which claims that calls to eliminate Israel are not per se antisemitic.

The administration’s mistake became obvious after the Oct. 7 massacre, when pro-Hamas forces dropped all euphemisms and exposed their gruesome underbelly of outright genocidal Jew-hatred.

The plan also named the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is itself antisemitic, as a partner in its efforts. Bizarrely, the plan did not mention Israel and Zionism at all, but mentioned Islamophobia multiple times.

We and many others warned that a partnership with CAIR would never work. Thankfully, at least CAIR was unceremoniously dropped when one of its representatives expressed support for Hamas and the Oct. 7 atrocities.

“Pillar 3” of the plan was dedicated to countering normalization of antisemitism and antisemitic discrimination, including in K-12 schools and on college campuses. The Department of Education, as well as other federal agencies, were enlisted in this effort. The plan recognized that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is a critical tool.

The plan, however, contained no mandate for action or effective mechanisms to accomplish this. As a result, there have been no serious federal prosecutions of antisemites involved in antisemitic hate crimes, nor have federal cases been filed under Title VI. The Department of Education has opened a few investigations, but that is all. This has not changed even though the U.S. Congress has exposed institutionalized antisemitism at a number of universities and private lawsuits have been brought under Title VI.

How many events like the recent riot at the University of California Berkeley have to take place before the federal government acts? Reportedly, a large mob of pro-Hamas thugs hurled epithets like “dirty Jew”; spat on, physically accosted and even assaulted Jewish students; broke windows; and forced their way into the venue.

Yet no federal investigation or prosecution has been undertaken.

Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley wrote the truth about Berkeley on X: “The only way to deter such acts is to suspend or expel students engaged in such violent acts.” This obvious fact appears to be beyond the administration’s comprehension.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona could not even bring himself to acknowledge that shouting the genocidal slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is antisemitic. He even mimicked the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and MIT by claiming it depends on context.

Lest there be any doubt that slogans like “from the river to the sea” and “there’s one solution—intifada revolution” mean the genocide of Jews, it should be recalled that Aaron Bushnell, who recently self-immolated while screaming “free Palestine,” wrote, “Palestine will be free when all the Jews are dead.”

We should ask the Department of Justice:

-Why is no one going to jail for attacking Jews on campus or, for that matter, on the streets of Brooklyn?

-Do pro-Hamas thugs get a pass because many of them are Arab Muslims?

The failure to suspend, expel, sue or bring criminal charges against the thugs only emboldens them. Failure to enforce relevant laws against universities that violate both Title VI and their own codes of conduct is tantamount to condoning their crimes. 

The federal government’s failure to carry out its plan against antisemitism is having real political consequences for the Biden administration. Polls have consistently shown that Americans support Israel over Hamas by a massive margin. They also show a significant shift of the Jewish vote away from the Democrats.

The reason is very simple: American Jews feel unsafe. They are afraid to display their Judaism. And they know that, under the Biden administration, the federal government is doing nothing to protect them. They know the Departments of Justice and Education have not taken the actions to combat Jew-hatred that they pledged to take.

Indeed, instead of fighting this wave of hatred, the Biden administration is appeasing the pro-Hamas thugs for fear of losing the Muslim vote, especially in the state of Michigan.

This is not just bad politics; it is immoral.

One prominent poll showed that 59% of Muslim Americans believe the Oct. 7 massacre was justified. It appears that the administration is terrified of fighting antisemitism because the majority of Muslim Americans (and their progressive allies) are antisemitic.

But doing what’s right is not an election gambit. It’s a sacred duty. As Numbers 24:9 states, “Those who bless Israel will be blessed.” The Biden administration would do well to remember that.