The American president finds himself in the heart of a new controversy. Donald Trump signed a decree on Wednesday, December 11, to fight anti-Semitism on American campuses. This text broadens the definition of anti-Semitism used by the Ministry of Education when it enforces the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It specifically orders the use of the International Alliance's definition of anti-Semitism. the memory of the Holocaust (IHRA).
"This is our message to the universities: if you want to benefit from the huge sums you receive each year from the federal state, you must reject anti-Semitism"said Trump at a ceremony at the White House to celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights. With this decree, Donald Trump "Defend Jewish students" and "Makes it clear that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated", insisted his son-in-law and councilor Jared Kushner in a forum published in the New York Times.
Decree to "limit" criticism of Israel
But defenders of freedom of expression fear that too broad and vague definitions of anti-Semitism will be used to ban all criticism of Israeli government policy.
For Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the Jewish progressive organization J-Street, the presidential decree "Seems less designed to combat anti-Semitism than to limit freedom of expression and to attack campuses against criticism of Israel".