Experts are saying Trump’s anti-Semitism critics got it wrong — and the president’s order doesn’t reclassify Judaism as a nationality


  • The New York Times reported Tuesday that in a bid to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses President Donald Trump was planning to reclassify Judaism as a nationality.
  • The move would apparently close a loophole within Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which governs discrimination against people on the basis of race or nationality but not religion.
  • Having examined the order, which was released Wednesday, several experts have noted that the order does not lead to the reclassification of Judaism.
  • Instead it expands on Obama-era rules, under which anti-Jewish prejudice can be punished on the basis of intent.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump provoked a firestorm of criticism after The New York Times reported that in an executive order designed to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses the president was planning to redefine Judaism as a nationality.

Criticism of religion is shielded under the First Amendment, and the order was apparently designed to close a loophole that was exploited by those spreading anti-Jewish hate speech under the guise of criticising religion.

But critics said the order could have the opposite effect of that intended, validating white-nationalist drives for Jews to be reclassified as non-American – and possibly leading to Jewish deportations and exacerbating anti-Semitic hatred.But when the order was published late Wednesday after the president signed it into law at a White House event, some experts said the actual document was very different from that portrayed in The Times report – and made no mention of reclassifying Judaism.

Read the article by Tom Porter in Business Insider Australia.