Politics

Biden admin ripped by experts as antisemitism gets ‘worse’ over past 6 months: ‘Should have seen it coming’

Six months after Jewish groups warned the Biden administration that antisemitism in the United States is worse than it has ever been, Jewish leaders and a Middle East expert told Fox News Digital that things have only gotten worse and offered insight into what more needs to be done.

‘In the past 6 months, antisemitism has definitely gotten worse,’ Archie Gottesman, co-founder of JewBelong, told Fox News Digital this week. Gottesman’s reaction comes six months after several prominent Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, met with Biden’s Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to express the belief that they’ve ‘never seen’ this much antisemitism in the U.S.

‘College campuses are hosting violent protests, and they are continuing to grow in number,’ Gottesman added. ‘Those of us watching closely know that the violence is going to continue to escalate– like it just did on Columbia’s campus last night– and that many of the students don’t even know what they are protesting about.  The faculty members that are joining them should be ashamed of how poorly they are representing once-revered institutions.’

Gottesman told Fox News Digital that the Biden administration can and should do more, including deploying the National Guard to college campuses facing lawlessness from anti-Israel groups.

‘President Biden has the authority to call in the national guard yet he hasn’t,’ Gottesman said.  

‘Can you imagine if these protests were against either people of color or LGBTQ+ people? The administration needs to start by showing some real leadership. Even just meeting with university presidents, offering assistance to universities that need help ensuring the safety of Jewish students, and helping to draw a line against all-out anarchy. Many of the trustees of these universities have a direct line to Biden and vice-versa. They could end this quickly if they worked together.’

Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News Digital that antisemitism ‘has gotten worse’ over the last 6 months ‘especially on U.S. college campuses.’

‘This is the culmination of wrong policies by the Biden administration, since it first put antisemitism on equal footing with so-called Islamophobia, and even made CAIR sit on the White House’s antisemitism committee,’ Abdul-Hussain explained.’

 ‘Since October 7, pro-Hamas groups have taken President Biden’s measurements and noticed how he softened his position after the non-committed vote in Michigan. As a result, Students for Justice Palestine (SJP), a shadowy network founded and run by Islamists, started its antisemitism campaign on college campuses.’

Abdul-Hussain added that the Biden administration ‘should have seen it coming.’

‘If you give a mischievous kid milk, he’ll come back asking for cookies,’ Abdul-Hussain said. 

‘This is exactly what SJP did. They believed that Biden was prone to pressure and went ahead and cranked it up a few notches. The result was students, masked with Palestinian Kufiyyah, breaking doors and windows and taking over one or more university buildings across the country. The result was also more antisemitism and less safety for Jewish Americans, students as well as the general population.’

Brooke Goldstein, human rights attorney and executive director of The Lawfare Project, told Fox News Digital, ‘Law enforcement must be empowered to deal with this threat immediately. Our elected representatives owe us a duty to protect us against this type of radicalization and extremism, but thus far they have turned a blind eye to on our college campuses. And we can now clearly see the results of this.’

‘Our elected officials have either benefitted from, or turned a blind eye to, the billions of dollars of dark money from Qatar that contribute to teaching American students to hate America, hate democracy, hate Jews, and hate Israel,’ Goldstein continued. ‘They have ignored the dozens of complaints filed with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights over the last 4 years, one of which, filed by The Lawfare Project four years ago against Columbia University, has still not been investigated.’

‘There must be congressional hearings – with subpoena – immediately, to follow the money and get to the bottom of how millions of dollars are being spent by foreign state actors to destabilize this country. This has nothing to do with Israel-Palestine, which is a decoy. It has everything to do with destroying America from within.’

Fox News Digital reached out to Cardona’s office but did not receive a response.

Cardona was grilled on Capitol Hill on Tuesday regarding his efforts to combat antisemitism and on whether he would expedite Title VI investigations to possibly pull federal funding from universities riled with antisemitic protests. 

During a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing dedicated to discussing the president’s fiscal year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., hammered Cardona on how Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination of race, color or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. 

Asserting that ‘no student should feel unsafe on campus,’ the senator cited how ‘just last week, Columbia University had to move classes online, and Jewish students were told by a campus rabbi to go home because it was no longer safe for them on their campus’ and ‘late last night, protesters took over Hamilton Hall on campus, and the university is locked down today with access limited to only residential students.’

‘This is just totally unacceptable. So, Secretary Cardona, do you believe what is happening to Jewish students at Columbia and other colleges and universities across this country is okay?’ Capito demanded. 

‘Absolutely not. I think what’s happening on our campuses is abhorrent,’ Cardona said. ‘Hate has no place on our campuses. And I’m very concerned with the reports of antisemitism. I’ve spoken to Jewish students who have feared going to class as a result of some of the harassment that they’re facing on campuses. It’s unacceptable, and we’re committed as a Department of Education to adhering to Title VI enforcement.’

Cardona said the Department of Education has 137 open cases of possible Title VI enforcement violations – including at Columbia University – and has ‘increased the number of communications to college campuses to make sure that they have what they need in terms of the law and best practices on how to make sure they’re protecting students.’ 

‘This is why in our budget we’re proposing a $22 million increase to increase the number of investigators so we can move on those investigations that are open. And ultimately, if a school refuses to comply with Title VI, yes, we would remove federal dollars,’ he told lawmakers. 

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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