The President signed an executive order focused on anti-Semitism on college campuses, drawing both praise and concerns about implications for free speech on campuses.
The executive order instructs agencies to “consider” a definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in investigating complaints of discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The executive order reiterates that “discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin.”
The IHRA definition is controversial in higher education because it encompasses some forms of anti-Israel speech.
Advocates of campus free speech rights argued that instructing federal agencies to adopt the IHRA definition to aid in their enforcement of Title VI could curtail speech critical of Israel.