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Risch Effort to Hold Department of Education Accountable for Taxpayer Funded Antisemitism Receives Support

Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) this week wrote Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona regarding taxpayer dollars funding antisemitic activities on college campuses. The Senator is demanding answers from the Department of Education regarding these practices and the growing safety issues Jewish students and allies of Israel face on these campuses.

The Senator has received significant support for his letter from Heritage Action, the Middle East Forum, StopAntisemitism.org, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, and Zionist Organization of America who all voiced their support for Senator Risch’s letter and effort to hold the Department of Education accountable.

The full letter is available here.

“StopAntisemitism wholeheartedly endorses Senator Risch’s letter to the Department of Education. The letter draws attention to an alarming reality: the government has the tools to stem the tide of antisemitism on college campuses, but they must be implemented consistently and unilaterally. Enforcing Title VI will, at minimum, remove federal support for antisemitic events and groups. Moreover, it would be a strong signal that the Department of Education takes campus antisemitism seriously – a necessary first step in ensuring Jewish students can express themselves honestly without fear,” said Liora Rez with Stop Antisemitism.

“We appreciate the Senator’s leadership on this important issue,” said Dan Pollak, Director of Government Relations for the Zionist Organization of America.

“Title VI was created to aid in creating the next generation of international affairs professionals and foreign language experts to improve US diplomacy and national security. Unfortunately, the federal government is not getting its money’s worth. Rather than focus on needed fundamentals, too much Title VI funded programs functionally fund fringe academic theories and slanted views that are obsessed with antisemitic-tinged, wildly disproportionate criticisms of Israel. This is done at the expense of other serious issues in the region. And as Fred Lafer and Michael Stein of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy once  said, ‘the fallacies of the reigning orthodoxies of Middle Eastern studies … spilled over into Washington.’ Congress is well within its rights to demand change to correct these flaws,” said Cliff Smith, Washington Project Director, Middle East Forum

“Americans rightly reject antisemitism – including antisemitic demonization of Israel. It’s clear more needs to be done to prevent our tax dollars being used to spread this poison on our campuses. Senator Risch and his colleagues are right to demand accountability from the Department of Education, which is responsible for protecting Jewish students’ civil rights and ensuring balance in taxpayer-funded area studies programs,” said Matt Brooks, CEO of Republican Jewish Coalition.

“At a time when antisemitism is reaching unprecedented heights in the United States, we, at EMET, wholeheartedly endorse this letter. We have long held the belief that the university holds a critically important place in the attitudes of future American thought-leaders and is the incubator and shaper of the ideas and values that permeate throughout the United States. For far too long, our nation’s Middle East Studies programs have been hotbeds of anti-Israelism, which tends to easily morph itself into antisemitism. This situation has been festering for decades and is now manifesting itself throughout many various institutional and societal domains in American society, where Jews are feeling attacked, and discriminated against. Our American Jewish college students have long been on the front lines.  We at EMET remains profoundly grateful to Senator James Risch for this exceedingly important letter,” said Sarah Stern, Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth.

Source:https://www.risch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=ADA0A744-D1D3-4A5D-B698-7CC32D26A059