What We're Reading: Antisemitism & Free Speech12-18-2019
By Samantha Hill
Ken Stern, who runs the Center for the Study of Hate at Bard College, writes about Donald Trump’s Executive Order that was signed this week. Stern was responsible for drafting the working definition of antisemitism used in Trump’s order when he worked for the American Jewish Committee, and is now worried that it is being used to silence free speech on college campuses:
Fifteen years ago, as the American Jewish Committee’s antisemitism expert, I was the lead drafter of what was then called the “working definition of antisemitism”. It was created primarily so that European data collectors could know what to include and exclude. That way antisemitism could be monitored better over time and across borders.
It was never intended to be a campus hate speech code, but that’s what Donald Trump’s executive order accomplished this week. This order is an attack on academic freedom and free speech, and will harm not only pro-Palestinian advocates, but also Jewish students and faculty, and the academy itself.