US Commission on Civil Rights

Public Education Campaign to End Campus Anti-Semitism

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Some forms of anti-Semitism are deeply offensive even when they do not violate federal laws 

It is important to remember that the Office for Civil Rights’ jurisdiction is based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics, since it does not have jurisdiction to investigate claims of religious discrimination per se.

 

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Speech or writing that is slanderous or libelous of Jews as a group, the Jewish religion, or individuals because they are Jewish

  • False, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions

 

  • Denials of the Holocaust, or of the means used by National Socialist Germany to murder Jewish people during that period (for example, gas chambers), or claiming that the Jews caused or conspired to bring about the Holocaust

 

  • Symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (for example, claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel, that is use of human blood in ritual sacrifices) to characterize Israel or Israelis. Not all criticisms of Israel should be considered anti-Semitic however

 

  • Comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, or comparisons of Israeli/Jewish leaders to Nazi leaders, or comparisons of Jewish symbols such as the Star of David with the swastika

 

  • Conferring collective responsibility for actions of the state of Israel upon all Jewish people

 

Some forms of anti-Semitism are unlawful but not criminal

It is important to remember that the Office for Civil Rights’ jurisdiction is based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics, since it does not have jurisdiction to investigate claims of religious discrimination per se.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Denying Jewish students opportunities or services equally available to others, for example denying them the opportunity of pursuing an education in a federally funded program or activity that is free of a hostile environment. This environment may be created by severe, pervasive and objectively offensive actions such as abusing Jewish students in classroom discussions, and directing threatening or intimidating behavior toward Jewish students

 

Some forms of anti-Semitism are criminal; anti-Semitic acts are criminal when they are defined as such by federal, state or local criminal laws

It is important to remember that the Office for Civil Rights’ jurisdiction is based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics, since it does not have jurisdiction to investigate claims of religious discrimination per se.

 

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Threats of violence, including threats conveyed with the use of symbol such as swastikas

  • Inflicting bodily injury

 

  • Physical intimidation

 

  • Damaging property

 

  • Death resulting from bodily injury

 

  • Mental incapacitation resulting from bodily injury 

  • Physical incapacitation resulting from bodily injury