Trump to Sign Executive Order on anti-Semitism That Will Treat ‘Jewishness’ as Nationality

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will sign on Wednesday an executive order focused on anti-Semitism at college campuses in the United States. The executive order, according to officials at the White House, will state that title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin, will also be applied to “Jewishness,” treating it as a nationality and not only a religion.

The executive order will impact universities that receive federal grants from the U.S. government.

The executive order will also endorse a definition of anti-Semitism published in 2016 by the International Holocaust Research Association (IHRA), and calls on federal agencies to “consider” this definition of anti-Semitism when investigating potentially anti-Semitic incidents.

>> Read more: Jewish community reacts to Trump's anti-Semitism executive order

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization devoted to protecting freedom of speech on college campuses, released a statement on Tuesday night against the president's intended executive action, warning that it would harm First Amendment rights.

"The apparent rise in campus anti-Semitism is a real problem. But however well-intentioned, if the President’s Executive Order does in fact rely on [the IHRA] definition, it will impermissibly threaten the expressive rights of students and faculty at institutions across the country," the organization warned. 

The IHRA definition is already being used by the State Department and has been adopted by governments around the world, including the Israeli government. The definition has been criticized for being too broad and for including political criticism at the state of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism.