President Trump was joined on the stage by Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Pence as well as several Jewish leaders and evangelical Christian leaders and Jewish members of his administration. Chabad of Poway heroes, Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales were also in attendance as well Patriots owner Robert Kraft and famed attorney Alan Dershowitz.
Trump said that he is issuing the Executive Order in an effort to fight against the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States. Trump said that the Executive Order demonstrates his administration’s unwavering commitment to combating all forms of anti-Semitism.
President @realDonaldTrump‘s new executive order makes clear that under Title VI, institutions that traffic in anti-Semitic hate will not be funded by taxpayers. pic.twitter.com/UTXLHwM616
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 11, 2019
“Today, I am taking a historic action. In just a few moments, I will sign an executive order to combat anti-Semitism. This action makes clear that Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act — which prohibits the federal funding of universities and other institutions that engage in discrimination — applies to institutions that traffic in anti-Semitic hate.” Trump proclaimed.
“This is our message to universities,” Trump said. “If you want to extend the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject antisemitism, and you will never tolerate the suppression, persecution or silencing of the Jewish people,” “We have also taken a firm stand against the BDS.”
“This action makes clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits the federal funding of universities and other institutions that engage in discrimination, applies to institutions that traffic in anti-Semitic hate,” Trump said before signing the Executive Order.
(Full Video of the first White House Hanukkah Party/ White House)
Trump introduced New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a “special friend of Israel”: “Nobody is closer to Israel than Bob Kraft.”
“This is really a bipartisan issue…we know that college campuses are a place where you bridge-build and you include people and have education, and not be something that is exclusive and drives people away and generates hatred. So, I’m so proud that, at this time, we’re doing something that is so bipartisan.” Kraft said. “My wife, bless her memory, would be smiling now” because she loved America first, and Israel, and wanted to build bridges between the two places and have tikkun olam. And I think this, more than anything, is going to help do that. So thank you very much.
Trump also called upon famed attorney Alan Dershowitz to the podium and asked him to say a few words.
“For 65 of my 81 years I have spent at universities all over the country and all over the world, there is no more important event in those 65 years to turn universities away from being bastions of hatred and discrimination than this executive order being signed today.’ Dershowitz said. “It is a game changer. It will go down in history as one of the most important events in the 2,000-year battle against Antisemitism.”
Reaction from around the world were swift and mostly positive across bipartisan lines.
אני מבקש להודות לנשיא טראמפ על פרסום הצו הנשיאותי נגד אפליית העם היהודי. חופש הביטוי אינו יכול לשמש מעטה להתקפות אנטישמיות נגד העם היהודי ומדינת ישראל. 🇺🇸🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/Q60B79VZkb
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 12, 2019
“We appreciate @realDonaldTrump’s decision to give the @usedgov the authority to counter discrimination against Jewish students. For far too long, Jewish students have been targeted, harassed and silenced on campus for supporting the Jewish state,” AIPAC tweeted.
We appreciate @realDonaldTrump‘s decision to give the @usedgov the authority to counter discrimination against Jewish students.
For far too long Jewish students have been targeted, harassed and silenced on campus for supporting the Jewish state.
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) December 11, 2019
RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman praised the move by saying: “This is a truly historic and important moment for Jewish Americans. President Trump has extended to Jewish students very strong, meaningful legal protection from anti-Semitic discrimination. Sadly, every day, Jewish students on college campuses face outrageous attacks on their Jewish identity and beliefs. The rapid increase in such incidents in recent years is of great concern. We have very good reasons to call Donald Trump the most pro-Israel President in American history. He has shown his friendship for our wonderful ally, the state of Israel, again and again – recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, moving the US embassy there, and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
We had fun…
But seriously, how awful would @RepJeffries, @DWStweets, @RepEliotEngel, @RepJerryNadler, @RepTedDeutch, or the other 20 Democrats who co-sponsored the anti-Semitism Awareness Act look for not supporting the President’s EO?
Almost as awful as @USJewishDems looks.. pic.twitter.com/E00AReEcMo
— RJC (@RJC) December 11, 2019
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said: “Demonizing Israel and holding American Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions are examples of anti-Semitism. Those are exactly the kind of hateful attacks that Jewish college students face on campuses across this country. Hatred must be fought every day and everywhere it is found. President Trump has pledged to do that, and today is another example of him keeping his promises to the American people.”
(Full Video of the second White House Hanukkah Party by: Eddie Dvir)
Negative reactions came in from the JDCA and J Street.
“This is truly the arsonist attempting to serve as the firefighter, and we’d prefer Trump stop inciting the flames of hatred against Jews as opposed to feigning his concern with a political stunt timed to correspond with a Republican-only Hanukkah party,” said Halie Soifer,the JDCA executive director.
President Trump has zero credibility to take meaningful action to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism. This is truly the arsonist attempting to serve as the firefighter. Trump’s own words would be classified as anti-Semitic according to his own EO. https://t.co/hNyMp24OF3
— Halie Soifer (@HalieSoifer) December 11, 2019
While the controversial left leaning group, J Street, declared: “it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right.”
You could read Jared Kushner’s op-ed supporting his father-in-law’s executive order in the New York Times.
OR, you could read our statement calling out why this executive order is cynical and harmful.https://t.co/9eNkcuF9lT
— J Street (@jstreetdotorg) December 11, 2019
J-Street added that “we feel it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right.”