Trump will aid in the battle against anti-Semitism
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The election of Donald Trump has caused an eruption of political machinations by various interest organizations. Many of these organizations are sounding alarm, offering the new administration no chance to prove itself, as they instead look to immediately undermine it.

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What should be considered out of bounds from the political arena are the gross misrepresentations and downright lies that all observers have by now encountered.  This is especially true of falsehoods being used to spread fear that the Trump administration somehow embraces racist, anti-Jewish hate groups.

 

For those who recognize the sad political nature of such propaganda, it is likewise obvious that their objective is to attract people to unwittingly join in opposing the new administration. Unfortunately, this circumstance ultimately works against the unprecedented effort the Trump administration will invest in combating anti-Semitism and supporting the Jewish State of Israel.

Opponents of the Trump administration do not have a single anti-Semitic or racist statement to point toward. Nevertheless, now is still an important time to highlight the old adage that actions speak louder than words. It therefore strikes me as being worthwhile to describe the positive policy initiatives likely to be pursued in the coming term, which ought to be duly reassuring to those truly interested in combating anti-Semitism and supporting Israel.

Following is a list of policy predictions, offered in light of my interactions with various members of the Trump team, and in the hope that a bit of sensibility might temper the willingness of objective minds to buy into the lies they might still encounter.

The key to the Trump administration’s efforts in combating anti-Semitism will be the appointment of a leading policymaker to direct the battle, both domestically and abroad. In 2004, Congress created the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Due to  the Obama administration’s flawed understanding of the issue, the position was effectively neutralized by the appointment of partisan loyalists who accomplished little policy-wise. Consequently, the increases in political manifestations of anti-Semitism, both abroad and domestically, have been lacking the necessary response.

In 2015, I was pleased to be the introducing sponsor of our country’s first modern legislation regulating against the activities of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel. As a sign of its commitment to the issue, the Trump administration has just wisely appointed Governor Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley: Political climate, media hysteria wouldn't allow Confederate flag to come down in SC today Goldman Sachs employees protest event featuring Haley after Confederate flag remarks Presidential candidates serving in the Senate must recuse themselves from impeachment proceedings MORE, of my home state, South Carolina – the first governor to sign anti-BDS legislation into law – its new ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump’s team has also been vocal about its intent to respond to the plight of Jewish and pro-Israel students on college campuses. In fact, the new administration has already stated it will ask the Justice Department to investigate attempts to intimidate these students, particularly where there has been too much leniency in allowing the deprivation of their First Amendment rights.

Given the extent of the problem, it is highly likely they will also seek the Department of Education’s long-overdue application of full protections for Jewish students from bigotry and discrimination under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In carrying out the above, the Trump administration is expected to support the development of a much-needed statutory definition of anti-Semitism. The challenge in accomplishing this is to find a way of confronting the use of anti-Israelism/Zionism as a means of expressing anti-Jewish sentiment. The implementation of a statutory definition will be a revolutionary moment in the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry, by ensuring the uniform usage of an effective standard that delivers clarity and leaves little room for political games.

In forecasting the Trump administration’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism it is also important to consider its unprecedented level of support for Israel. Abe Foxman, the recently retired national director of the Anti-Defamation League, often described Israel as the “Jew amongst the nations,” in explaining that mistreatment of Israel is a common manifestation of modern anti-Jewish bigotry. The inverse of Foxman’s observation holds just as true. Support for Israel is a common manifestation of an affinity for Jewish people. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE will more than pass the test.

Even before taking office, the Trump administration is being forced to prove itself by seeking out ways to prevent President Obama’s likely anti-Israel gambit at the U.N. Security Council before he leaves office. Reforming the anti-Israel/Jewish circus at the United Nations, particularly in ensuring that U.S. taxpayer money is not used to such ends, will undoubtedly remain a high priority in coming years.

This past summer, I was deeply honored to have authored the Republican Party’s platform section expressing our unequivocal support for Israel and desire to combat anti-Semitism. In doing so, President-elect Trump and his team wholeheartedly helped lead the important expressions of policy that were made.

The incoming Trump administration has repeatedly promised that it will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Along with the rest of the Republican Party, it rejects the false notion that Israel is an occupier, pointing out the intentional misuse of the legal term “occupation” as a polite way of calling Israel a thief.

Strange as it is, the Trump administration will be forced to endlessly reiterate the ridiculousness of suggesting that Jews are occupiers in a region known as Judea for 3,000-plus years. We can expect that upon taking office, President Trump will accordingly bring much needed reform to the anti-Israel/Jewish bias of the U.S. State Department.

Again, what will matter in achieving most of the above goals will be the appointment of a proactive professional possessing superior expertise and a proven record of policymaking. If the Trump administration harbors any shred of anti-Jewish bigotry, the last thing we should expect to see is the appointment of a qualified person to the post of Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism.

Alan Clemmons is a Republican member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and author of the first state level anti-BDS bill signed into law.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.