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All of these anti-Semitism allegations continue to sideline Palestinian suffering

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16.09.2018

As the row over what constitutes anti-Semitism rages in Britain, the very real fear that freedom of speech is being threatened has already been realised in America, according to one Jewish campaign group. At the heart of the argument is a decision by the Trump administration to change how the Education Department investigates allegations that Jewish students face discrimination; not surprisingly, the Trump team has backed an approach that is endorsed by pro-Israel groups.

The policy change has already prompted the reinvestigation of an event held seven years ago, involving Holocaust and Nakba survivors, which was deemed to be anti-Semitic because it included criticism of the Israeli government. The reopening of the 2011 case, dismissed under the Obama administration, means that anyone who supports Palestinian human rights is potentially going to be regarded as an anti-Semite, says Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

The original investigation, instigated by a leading pro-Israel Lobby group in the US, has been reopened on the order of Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s new head of civil rights at the Education Department. It centres on an event held at the State University of New Jersey, commonly known as Rutgers, which says that it has not yet received official notification from the Department.

Just a few weeks ago, the university hosted Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. During his lecture, he called for Rutgers to distance itself from Israel.

The move by Marcus, a long-time opponent of Palestinian rights, has caused alarm among pro-Palestine groups and threatens to divide university campuses across America. He has also put the weight of the Federal Government behind a definition of anti-Semitism which not only........

© Middle East Monitor