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Morning Glory: Joe Biden's antisemitism problem

OpinionMorning Glory: Joe Biden's antisemitism problem

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President Joe Biden has an antisemitism problem. It is large and growing larger. It is his problem and he can’t shed responsibility for it.

In a nutshell: The people who work for him are not doing their jobs to stop discrimination against Jews in America. Anyone with eyes and ears can see and hear what has been happening in America for six months, and a climax of sorts was reached this weekend at Columbia and Yale Universities. Police have taken some action against the violent protesters at the New Haven and Upper West Side campuses of the two schools, but how did it reach this point? Why have the Biden Departments of Education and Justice been MIA? 

The problem manifests immediately on the landing page of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights where any visitor finds this notice right off the bat: “The majority of OCR staff are working remotely because of the pandemic.”

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Huh? The pandemic is long gone everywhere except the DOE. Everyone in the federal government should be at their desk and answering their phones or at least making it through a few emails a day. That would not be enough though. There should be task forces of DOE and DOJ personnel dispatched to every campus where these outages are occurring. Take the pictures. Make the first-hand reports. Become witnesses, not desk jockeys.

Even folks “working remotely” from the vast Department building at 400 Maryland Avenue SW in D.C. ought to be able to do the easy stuff of answering emails. The portion of the website titled “Race, Color, or National Origin Discrimination” includes what should be known to every DOE-OCR employee: “Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”

There is an online form for filing a complaint about unlawful discrimination  —but it hardly seems necessary when every news organization and social media platform has produced coverage of the antisemitic harassment at Columbia and Yale and before that at Harvard, the University of Michigan etc.

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Nevertheless, the organization “Campus Reform” has stepped up to wake up DOE-OCR by filing complaint after complaint about the rolling waves of anti-Semitism on American campuses.

Campus Reform bills itself as “America’s leading site for college news.”  It also brands itself as a “conservative watchdog to the nation’s higher education system,” one which “exposes liberal bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” Maybe that’s why the Biden administration seems to be ignoring its emails: Complaints from conservatives don’t count.

“Our team of professional journalists works alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of campus administrators, faculty, and students,” the organization adds. “Campus Reform holds itself to rigorous journalism standards and strives to present each story with accuracy, objectivity, and public accountability.”

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Good for them and they have indeed been relentless in cataloging many of the antisemitic incidents and filing the complaints required by the Department of Education. To what end?

Dr. Zachary Marschall is the editor-in-chief of Campus Reform and in January he opined that the “beginning of the end is here for unaccountable, radical campus indoctrination.” Nearly three months later, however, the hatred is metastasizing, not abating, and not for lack of notice.

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Marshall and his team have filed scores of complaints against the highest profile offenders like Princeton. But nothing has happened. No funds have been cut off; no civil rights actions filed in federal court by DOE-OCR in conjunction with the Division of Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Why not? It’s certainly not for “lack of notice.”  The answer has to be in either the incompetence or the ideology of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education, or both. 

The StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice has brought a private suit against MIT for the antisemitism there, but DOJ has not joined it. Finding any DOJ suit against any college or university for antisemitic acts since Oct. 7 is impossible. They aren’t in that business. Like the DOE-OCR, the feds at Justice have taken a vacation from enforcing civil rights laws when Jews are the victims.

In sharp contrast, the State Department appears set to sanction units in the Israeli Defense Forces that somebody at State believes are committing war crimes of some sort. Astonishing but true: Team Biden can find defendants to accuse of bad acts inside of Israel but can’t muster any response to our civil rights meltdown in the U.S.

At what point do American supporters of Israel and especially American Jews realize that the Democrat Party has reverted to the policies of the State Department throughout 1940 to 1944 —the era of Breckinridge Long? Don’t recognize the name? Read this.

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Too harsh to compare the bureaucrats of today with Long? Maybe it would have been in October or even early November. But there has been six months of growing antisemitism in the U.S. generally and creeping anti-Israel policies inside the Biden administration specifically. It will be up to voters to punish this disgusting abdication of enforcement of the country’s civil rights laws coupled with a turn against our ally Israel. 

Let’s hope no student has to be killed before DOE and DOJ acts.

Hugh Hewitt is host of “The Hugh Hewitt show,” heard weekday mornings 6am to 9am ET on the Salem Radio Network, and simulcast on Salem News Channel. Hugh wakes up America on over 400 affiliates nationwide, and on all the streaming platforms where SNC can be seen. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel’s news roundtable hosted by Brett Baier weekdays at 6pm ET. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996 where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990.  Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, has authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and his column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcasting, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio/TV show today.

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