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Special Section of Additional Resources for the Article
"Silencing Dissent: How Biased Civil Rights Policies Stifle Dialogue on Israel"
by Chip Berlet and Maria Planansky in Tikkun Magazine, Winter 2014-2015

"Controversies over U.S. policies in the Middle East are not new, but the current stance of some institutions claiming to speak for the U.S. Jewish community,
combined with biased federal policies targeting anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses,
raises the specter of not just blacklists and political witch hunts but de facto government censorship."

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    The U.S. Department of Education & the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2004-2007

     

    A Research Timeline with Annotated Analytical Material

    The material on this page and the linked pages is provided to document these claims in detail – Apologies, due to illness parts of this collection are still under construction and are being completed with a TaRget Date of JanuAry 22

    From the Tikkun article:

    “Outrage over Israeli policies toward Palestinians has continued to swell the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). In response, critics of BDS are spreading rhetoric that is corroding support for civil liberties, civil rights, and free expression of ideas in the United States.”

    “Controversies over U.S. policies in the Middle East are not new, but the current stance of some institutions claiming to speak for the U.S. Jewish community, combined with biased federal policies targeting anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses, raises the specter of not just blacklists and political witch hunts but de facto government censorship.”

     

    The Column on the Left contains a Full Table of Contetnts
    For Readers of Tikkun Magazine, this Landing Page focuses on This Section:

    Rights in Conflict – An Overview

    Silencing Campus Debates on Israel & Palestine

    The U.S. Department of Education & the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2004-2007

    Packing Federal Agencies with Right-Wing Ideologues during the George W. Bush Administration

    The Silencing of Kenneth Stern

    The Continuing Conflict


     

    Rights in Conflict – An Overview

    Since the 9/11 attacks the silencing of dissent inside and outside the Jewish community has steadily increased. The issue of possible government censorship on campus was first raised in a public joint letter by Kenneth Stern, an expert on antisemitism with the American Jewish Committee, and Cary Nelson, President of the American Association of University Professors. Stern and Nelson warned that policies of the federal government could lead to censorship and the suppression of free speech on campus. Under pressure from right-wing ideologues the American Jewish Committee retracted Stern’s signature and repudiated the letter which was deleted from organizational websites. (The letter is online here). Stern and Nelson feared the potential outcome of biased and misguided federal policies aimed at campus clashes over Middle East policies, especially involving the BDS movement.

    How did these biased policies evolve? During his presidency, George W. Bush appointed numerous right-wing ideologues to federal agencies in an attempt to sidestep Congressional oversight of policies and shift toward so-called “color-blind” policies while gutting Affirmative Action programs. The Justice Department, US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) were special targets for right-wing ideological cleansing.

    Under Bush, these federal agencies dropped their attention on Islamophobia and refocused on the issue of antisemitic incidents on US college campuses. This happened despite a stated goal of protecting all “all religious minorities — not just Jews but also Sikhs, Muslims and others — from discrimination at federally funded secular institutions of higher learning.”

    The U.S. Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) have both investigated prejudice and bigotry on campus, but their attention between 2004 and 2007 focused almost exclusively on antisemitism, with few resources devoted to studying Islamophobia. The USCCR and the OCR were key instruments in spreading allegations that antisemitism was rampant on U.S. college campuses between 2001 and 2007.

    During the Bush administration, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education (DOE) was a casualty of controversial nominations, blocked confirmations, and contentious recess appointments. Senate Democrats opposed Bush’s vision for OCR appointees. These Bush appointees generally advocated what they called “race-neutral” admission policies, especially Assistant Secretary Gerald A. Reynolds; and were against affirmative action. The staffing of the OCR became a point of contention. Until December 2005, when Stephanie Monroe was confirmed as Assistant Secretary at OCR, there had not been a Senate-confirmed leader of the office for nearly five years.

    The situation regarding antisemitism on campus is complicated because Congress never intended civil rights law—enforced under Title VI of the Higher Education Act.—to extend to religious identity. After the 9/11 attacks, however, persons perceived to be Muslim faced discrimination and assaults, but so did Sikhs due to their physical appearance which was falsely assumed by attackers to be typical of Muslims. Jews and Jewish institutions were also targeted based on a toxic blend of bigotry and conspiracy theories alleging Jewish and/or Israeli plots involving the attacks.

    The intention of these agencies to challenge antisemitism on college campuses was indeed admirable, but its methods for assessing the problems were flawed, and their recommendations and actions undermined both civil rights and civil liberties.

    References for this Section

    Charles Dervarics, "Bush Invokes Rare Process to Fill OCR Slot." Black Issues In Higher Education 19, no. 5 (April 25, 2002): 8.

    Black Issues, “Office of Civil Rights Nominee Faces Scrutiny,” Diverse, (March 28, 2002), http://diverseeducation.com/article/2048/; Peter Schmidt, “The Bush White House Picks Its Civil-Rights Fights Carefully,” Chronicle of Higher Education 52, no.37 (May 19, 2006): 22-28; Stephen Burd, “Civil-Rights Official Switches Jobs,” Chronicle of Higher Education 50, no. 13, (November 21, 2003): 20.

    xx

    Silencing Campus Debates on Israel & Palestine

    The U.S. Department of Education & the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2004-2007

    Packing Federal Agencies with Right-Wing Ideologues during the George W. Bush Administration

    During his presidency, George W. Bush appointed numerous right-wing ideologues to federal agencies in an attempt to sidestep Congressional oversight of policies and shift toward so-called “color-blind” policies while gutting Affirmative Action programs. The Justice Department, US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) were special targets for right-wing ideological cleansing.

    DOJ ]]] “Leadership of the Civil Rights Division, 2001 to 2007: An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring and Other Improper Personnel Actions in the Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Office of Professional Responsibility July 2, 2008. (Released Publicly January 13, 2009)
    While not the same agency, similar politicized appointments were made throughout the administration of George W. Bush

    Federalist Society Used to Pack Federal Agencies with right-wing ideologues]]]

    Avery Book]]]

     

    The U.S. Department of Education: Office of Civil Rights after the 9/11 Terror Attacks

    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the OCR said it would pay particular attention to “claims of students who may be targeted for harassment based on their membership in groups that exhibit both ethnic and religious characteristics, such as Arab Muslims, Jewish Americans and Sikhs.” ]]]
    While the OCR explained its jurisdiction did not include religious discrimination, which falls under the Department of Justice, the presence of religious discrimination, the OCR said, did not divest the office of jurisdiction into investigating into the racial or ethnic components of discrimination, which the office argued, are sometimes intrinsically commingled with religious discrimination.

    USCCR after the 9/11 Terror Attacks

    The US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)  is an independent federal commission established by Congress during the Civil Rights Movement with the mission of pursuing a bipartisan agenda to protect civil rights for everyone. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 the USCCR began a number of initiatives in response to growing Islamophobia with a series of efforts approved by Commissioners who were still reflecting a bipartisan approach.

    Chronology

    2002 July Detroit Briefing

    The USCCR convened its July 2002 meeting in Detroit, home to the largest Arab American community in the United States, so that its Midwestern State Advisory Committees could brief them about “9/11 civil rights problems faced by Arab Americans and Muslims in their respective states.”

    2002 State Advisory Committees

    In addition, state advisory committees held public forums and initiatives “addressing the civil rights concerns of Arab Americans and Muslim communities” in Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Maryland/Virginia/Washington, D.C. advisory committee held a similar event.

    2002 Detroit Meeting

    At the 2002 Detroit meeting the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights “decided to endorse the Congressional establishment of an independent civil rights office within [the then proposed] Department of Homeland Security.” According to the Commission, “safeguards provided by the courts and congressional watchdogs and from political pressure will not be enough to protect civil liberties after the extensive reorganization of the federal government proposed with the creation of a homeland security agency.” Chairperson Mary Frances Berry said that the idea was to create an “independent monitor with investigative powers” that would be “similar to the Commission and other federal oversight offices” and “would help maintain the balance between ensuring domestic security and Constitutional rights."

    2002 Press Releases, Advisories and Public Affairs
    Department of Homeland Security Needs Civil Rights Watchdog
    Independent Office of Rights and Liberties Proposed by National Civil Rights Commission
    (Washington, DC -- July 23)
    http://www.usccr.gov/press/archives/2002/072302.htm
    ]]]

    The USCCR followed up with another press release, this time re-affirming the Commission’s “Commitment to Protecting Rights of Arab Americans and Muslims.”

    Chairperson Berry said that maintaining “a secure homeland does not justify discrimination against Arab Americans and others today, any more than World War II justified the internment of innocent Japanese Americans over a half century ago." Then there was a telling statement by Berry: "Although individual Commissioners are entitled to their own views, the Commission is charged with the vital mission of serving as a vigilant watchdog of the civil rights of all Americans."

    2002 Press Releases, Advisories And Public Affairs  ]]]
    Civil Rights Commission Reaffirms Commitment To Protecting Rights Of Arab Americans And Muslims
    http://www.usccr.gov/press/archives/2002/072402.htm

    2002 – Winter

    The Civil Rights Journal, the flagship publication of the USCCR, is unfunded and ceases publication after the 2002 edition. Published approximately bi-annually from 1995 to 2002, the Journal simply vanishes. The last cover story is “Flying While Arab: Lessons from the Racial Profiling Controversy.

    Civil Rights Journal, Winter 2002
    http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/crj/wint2002/wint02.pdf

     

    2004 March

    On March 26, 2004—at approximately the same time that the EUMC released its report—the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released its own report, which found that “the pronounced increase in animosity towards Jews and Israel across Western Europe concludes that many of those who denounce Zionism, the Jewish national movement that led to the creation of Israel, are in fact using that as subterfuge for propagating anti–Semitism.”

    2004 May

    As part of the EUMC’s efforts to build bridges and increase transatlantic dialogue, EUMC director Beate Winkler spoke at the AJC’s 11th International Leadership Conference on May 9, 2004. The conference’s focus was “Confronting Antisemitism—Mobilizing Governments.” The executive director of the AJC had spoken at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Conference on Antisemitism just a few weeks earlier. In her presentation, Winkler said:

    ===The situation in the Middle East clearly has an impact on antisemitic patterns of behaviour in Europe—after the Israeli incursion into Jenin, for example, there was a marked rise in antisemitic incidents in Europe. Our report makes a clear statement: criticism towards Israel can become antisemitic, but it is not so per se. The context must always be considered. But, for example, the demonization of Israel and the denial of its right to exist are clearly antisemitic in our view.
    Winkler concluded her presentation remarking, “The current situation regarding antisemitism in some European countries cannot be linked only to the situation in the Middle East.”

     

    2004 July - State Advisory Committees

    The Commission ceases publishing reports from their State Advisory Committees. Reports submitted between June 1999 and July 2004 were previously published and posted online.
    http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/sac.php

    2004 September – Marcus Letter

    In September of 2004 Kenneth L. Marcus was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement in the Office for Civil Rights inside the Department of Education. Though Deputy Assistant Secretary, Marcus led the OCR as Acting Director.
    See: U.S. Department of Education “Duquesne University and University of Pittsburgh Jointly Observe Brown,” Brown Briefs 11, (March 18, 2004),
    http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/brownvboard50th/newsletters/2004/browncommission_11.pdf

    September 13 of 2004 the OCR circulates a “Dear Colleague” letter written by Marcus laying out OCR’s intention to “aggressively prosecute harassment of religious students who are targeted on the basis of race or gender, as well as racial or gender harassment of students who are targeted on the basis of religion.”

    U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights. Dear Colleague, by Kenneth Marcus, Title VI and Title IX Religious Discrimination in Schools and Colleges: OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY (September 13, 2004)
    http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/religious-rights2004.html

    Marcus announced that henceforth the OCR would interpret Title VI civil rights legislation in an expanded way that would cover persons targeted on the basis of their ethnicity. This marked a sea change for the OCR’s prior approach in enforcing Title VI and was accomplished without Congressional hearings or input.

    The Office for Civil Rights would investigate “claims of students who may be targeted for harassment based on their membership in groups that exhibit both ethnic and religious characteristics, such as Arab Muslims, Jewish Americans and Sikhs.” By all accounts Marcus was sincere in this broad inclusion; however for the next few years Marcus spearheaded government efforts that focused almost exclusively on Jewish students.

    The Dear Colleague letter by Marcus appears to be a reversal from the approach it took in 2003:. Not only would the OCR now aggressively investigate religious students’ claims of racial/ethnic and gender discrimination and/or harassment, it would now enforce OCR policy so that free exercise of religion would be a priority. This raised concerns that perhaps religion would be trumping exercise of free speech on campuses.

    Marcus directly addresses these concerns in the letter by stating:

    ===Just last year, OCR issued a “Dear Colleague” letter admonishing recipients of federal financial assistance that “schools in regulating the conduct of students and faculty to prevent or redress discrimination must formulate, interpret, and apply their rules in a manner that respects the legal rights of students and faculty, including those court precedents interpreting the concept of free speech.” No OCR policy should be construed to permit, much less to require, any form of religious discrimination or any encroachment upon the free exercise of religion.

    U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights. Dear Colleague, by Kenneth Marcus, Title VI and Title IX Religious Discrimination in Schools and Colleges: OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY (September 13, 2004)
    http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/religious-rights2004.html
    How college administrators were supposed to juggle apparently conflicting mandates was not specified.

    2004 - October

    In October 2004, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) Center for Law and Justice submitted a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a division of the U.S. Department of Education. The complaint alleged that University of California at Irvine (UC Irvine), a public university receiving federal funds, had violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. The letter, written by ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice director Susan B. Tuchman claimed that "for the past three years, the environment for Jewish students at UC-Irvine has been hostile, and at times, threatening."
    http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=1091
    On October 28, 2004, the Office for Civil Rights notified ZOA that it would investigate the complaint;

    Arthur Zeidman, director of the San Francisco regional office of the OCR, would head the investigation.
    From that point on, OCR’s investigation into ZOA’s allegations becomes murky. In Washington, there were significant staff changes.

    2004 February

    On February 19, 2004 the European Union held an international seminar on antisemitism. At the session, Israel’s Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky opened up an international debate on the contemporary nature of antisemitism. Antisemitism in the twenty-first century, some contended, was a different phenomenon than the more familiar and easily identifiable antisemitism that had characterized Europe’s worst moments the century prior.

    Sharansky offered a way to define the term given new realities: The “3D approach.” Something would be considered antisemitic if it fit one of three Ds: Demonization, Double Standards, and Delegitimization.
    ]]]

    2004 December

    In December 2004 Kenneth L. Marcus was appointed by President Bush to be the Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    2005

    In 2005, Marcus led the Commission, which consisted of Gerald A. Reynolds, Abigail Thernstrom, Jennifer C. Braceras, Peter N. Kirsanow, Arlan D. Melendez, Ashley L. Taylor, Jr., and Michael Yaki.

    The US Commission on Civil Rights was designed by Congress to have an equal number of Republican and Democratic Commissioners. Four Commissioners are appointed by the President and four by the Senate. President Bush gamed the Congressional intent of a bipartisan balance at the USCCR by packing the Commission with right-wing Republicans and right-wing libertarians so that this bloc repeatedly outvoted Democrats.


    This began at USCCR when Republican appointees Commissioners Abigail Thernstrom and Russell Redenbaugh re-registered as Independent voters. To his credit, Redenbaugh “said he switched back to independent in 2003 because he leans libertarian…but called Bush's use of his switch to appoint a Republican ‘inappropriate’ and ‘wrong.’"  Nonetheless, with two “Independents” on the Commission, Republicans were able to appoint two Republicans.


    Rechristening right-wing Republicans as “Independents” opened up extra slots on the Commission, allowing the appointment of a total of four Republicans and two “independent” right-wing ideologues on the eight-person Commission. This meant the Right controlled the panel because to approve any major official action by the USCCR requires five votes—and the “Bush Bloc” controlled six votes. A 2007 investigative report by Charlie Savage in the Boston Globe noted that:


    ===unusual circumstances surrounding the appointments attracted little attention at the time. But they have had a sweeping effect, shifting the commission's emphasis from investigating claims of civil rights violations to questioning programs designed to offset the historic effects of discrimination.”

    Savage explains that “until Bush's 2004 appointments, no president used reregistrations by sitting commissioners to satisfy the law that forbids presidents from appointing a fifth commissioner of the same party.”

    Peter Shane, an Ohio State University law professor, called Bush’s move as a historic first. Shane told Savage it was an "escalation" in the use of hardball politics.

    According to Savage:

    ===Peter Strauss, an administrative law professor at Columbia University, said he believed a court would reject the administration's interpretation, especially if a judge decided that a commissioner reregistered "to manipulate the process" rather than because his or her ideology sincerely changed.
    Commissioner Redenbaugh resigned in 2005 and the Senate promptly appointed “Gail Heriot, a member of the conservative Federalist Society who opposes affirmative action,” wrote Savage, who noted in his article:

    ===Heriot was an alternate delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention and was a registered Republican until seven months before her appointment. In an interview, Heriot said her decision to reregister as an independent in August 2006, making her eligible to fill the vacancy, "had nothing to do with the commission."

    ==="I have disagreements with the Republican Party," she said. Asked to name one, she declined.

    ]]] check for full quote

    Savage reported that after the Bush appointments, the Commission “stopped issuing subpoenas and going on the road to hold lengthy fact-finding hearings, as it previously did about once a year.” There were “three planned hearings in the works when the conservative bloc took over” that were cancelled, found Savage. This and other moves by the Bush Bloc were justified, Marcus told Savage. During this same period the Bush administration continued to pack a number of federal agencies and institutions with right-wing ideologues.

    Avery book cite here ]]]

    According to Kenneth L. Marcus, writing in 2008:
    ===Since December 2004, when conservatives regained majority control over the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Commission has dramatically changed its course on matters of civil rights policy. While the Commission's recent work has addressed numerous issues, it has returned repeatedly to the issue of affirmative action….
    <Jump to article>]]]

    During her tenure as a Commissioner, Thernstrom repeatedly played the role of an ideological hammer, striking down attempts by the Democratic appointees to broaden the discussion and find some sort of bipartisan compromise.

    2005 January

    The U.S. Department of State issued its “Report on Global Anti–Semitism” on January 5, 2005, underscoring its commitment to eradicating antisemitism, as well as providing a country–by–country overview of antisemitic incidents and trends. ]]]

    The report found that three out of four triggers of antisemitism were tied to criticism and conflict over the State of Israel.

    Once in his new position, Marcus led the USCCR into its own general investigation into antisemitism on college and university campuses, holding a briefing on November 18, 2005 and issuing findings and recommendations in April 2006.

    While the “briefing” was totally one-sided and riddled with dubious claims, it took on the aura of a legitimate hearing of the USCCR.

    Meanwhile, the OCR’s investigation stalled. Conflicting reports detail infighting between the San Francisco regional office and the OCR’s Washington headquarters over the new camapaign.

    2005 March . – Audit Requested

     “Deeply in the red, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted yesterday to conduct an audit of how it has spent its $9 million annual budget over the past several years.”
    Civil Rights Commission Votes for Audit, by Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, March 19, 2005; Page A06
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48156-2005Mar18.html

    2005 March – Bias in Study Outline

     ===“Partisan wrangling that has plagued the commission's proceedings since the early 1980s also arose again yesterday, when members discussed a study that would examine federal contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women.”

    ===“The study, approved in early 2004, was to examine whether the government was including firms owned by both genders and all races in the contract awards. But Marcus said that he had changed the study's parameters without the board's knowledge to reflect only concerns that the government use strict race-neutral measures when awarding contracts.”

    ===“Michael Yaki, a liberal commissioner recently appointed to the board, charged that such an action clearly violated attempts to achieve a new bipartisan spirit of the board. Commissioner Jennifer Braceras, a conservative, said she had asked Marcus to add the language on race-neutral contracting because the study approved under Berry seemed one-sided. But Braceras also criticized Marcus, saying it was her intention to address both liberal and conservative concerns about minority contracting.”

    Civil Rights Commission Votes for Audit, by Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, March 19, 2005; Page A06
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48156-2005Mar18.html

    2005 November – Major USCCR Briefing on Antisemitism

    Marcus led the USCCR into its own general investigation into antisemitism on college and university campuses. The Commission held a briefing on November 18, 2005. Testimony was presented by representatives from the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice, and the American Jewish Congress. Specific targets were Columbia University, San Francisco State University, and University of California at Irvine.

    USCCR took up the issue of Jewish students facing antisemitism cloaked as anti-Israel activity on college campuses. They cited Columbia, San Francisco State University, and University of California at Irvine as examples of increasing hostility. Specifically, the commission was interested in antisemitic incidents “fueled by ideologically biased campus programs that receive operating funds from the federal government under Title VI of the Higher Education Act.”

    Several universities being investigated by refused to participate in the briefing. The Commission implied that the universities’ letters refusing participation were non-responsive. In fact a review of the letters on file at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights offices in Washington indicates that a main concern was that the colleges felt the hearing itself was improper. ]]]add links

    A panel, made up of Gary Tobin, president of Institute for Jewish and Community Research; Susan B. Tuchman, director of ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice and author of the October 2010 complaint against UC Irvine; and Sarah Stern, director of governmental and public affairs at American Jewish Congress, briefed members of the USCCR on November 18, 2005. Tobin based much of his testimony on his book The UnCivil University.


    Susan Tuchman reiterated ZOA’s OCR complaint against UC Irvine and cited the Department of State’s January 2005 “Report on Global Antisemitism”. Tuchman also said, “the Commission should voice its concern about campus antisemitism to OCR and urge OCR to conduct a thorough investigation of the complaint against UCI, with consideration of all of the available evidence.”

    Sarah Stern cited campuses where antisemitic incidents occurred, specifically referring to the documentary “Columbia Unbecoming.”

    Stern mentioned Columbia’s Middle East and Asian Languages Department (MEALAC) as one of 18 Middle Eastern studies programs receiving specific federal funds. Stern said, that “there was specific intent behind this congressional allocation to the university. That intent was to raise students to be well grounded in the knowledge of foreign languages and cultures so that they can best serve the national security interests of our nation.” The findings report that Stern “believes that the original intent has been turned on its head and many of these regional studies programs have become hotbeds of both anti-Israel and anti-American radicalism.”

    Tobin’s Book: The Uncivil University

    Some of the one-sided USCCR hearing testimony was later shown to be based on false, poorly documented, or ideologically-biased claims.

    The testimony of Gary Tobin, president of Institute for Jewish and Community Research, was drawn from a book he coauthored: The UnCivil University.
    Gary A Tobin; Aryeh Kaufmann Weinberg; Jenna Ferer, The UnCivil University. San Francisco, CA : Institute for Jewish & Community Research, 2005
    http://www.worldcat.org/title/uncivil-university/oclc/65165261?referer=br&ht=edition

    According to the publisher, the book:


    ===…documents the alarming rise in bigotry and bullying in the academy, using a range of evidence from first-hand accounts of intimidation of students by anti-Israel professors to anti-Semitic articles in student newspapers and marginalization of pro-Israel scholars. [It] exposes the unspoken world of double standards, bureaucratic paralysis, and abdication of leadership that not only allows but often supports a vocal minority of extremists on campus.

    One reviewer, however, described part of the book as “an indictment of 1960s liberalism, academic freedom, and tenure….”

    The respected newsletter Inside Higher Education, covered the book launch press conference noting the tome “asserts that there should be a government role in combating what authors label ‘rampant’ campus anti-Semitism and expression of anti-Israeli sentiments within academe,” but noting that many “Jewish leaders take issue with both parts of that argument – saying that the book inappropriately equates all criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.”

    2006 - March

    In spring 2006, correspondence between the OCR’s Monroe and the USCCR was made public in the New York Sun, which hinted at a reversal of the OCR’s policy change from September 2004. Monroe clarified the OCR’s policy towards handling antisemitism following a prompt from the commission: "OCR does have jurisdiction to investigate complaints raising allegations of religious discrimination or anti-Semitic harassment if the allegations also include discrimination over which OCR has subject matter jurisdiction, such as, race or national origin (including discrimination based on a person's ancestry or ethnic characteristics)."

    Of the correspondence, Monroe said she did not "view this letter as in any way changing policy," adding "the word anti-Semitism doesn't appear in any of our statutory requirements over things we have jurisdiction over."

    Meghan Clyne, “Education Department Backs Away From Anti-Semitism Safeguards,” New York Sun, (March 29, 2006),
    http://www.nysun.com/national/education-department-backs-away-from-anti/30008/

    2006 April – USCCR

    The USCCR issued its findings and recommendations on April 3, 2006.
    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Campus Anti-Semitism, (Washington DC: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2006). http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/081506campusantibrief07.pdf

    Findings: April 3, 2006 , FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS REGARDING CAMPUS ANTI-SEMITISM http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/050306FRUSCCRRCAS.pdf

    The USCCR embraced the EUMC’s working definition on antisemitism.]]]
    See http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/081506campusantibrief07.pdf

    Among the USCCR recommendations was a suggestion that the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights“should protect college students from anti-Semitic and other discriminatory harassment by vigorously enforcing Title VI against recipients that deny equal educational opportunities to all students” as well as “Congress should amend Title VI to make clear that discrimination on the bases of Jewish heritage constitutes prohibited national origin discrimination.”

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Campus Anti-Semitism, (Washington DC: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2006), p. 3

    2006 - August

    As of August 2006, OCR had not concluded its investigations and, following prompting by ZOA’s Tuchman, resumed its investigation.

     

    2007 February - Marcus Publication

    Marcus published “Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Antisemitism and The Civil Rights Act of 1964” in the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal. In the article, Marcus stakes his interpretation of Title VI in regards to antisemitism and the legal authority granted to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. He uses the campuses at UC Irvine, San Francisco State, and Columbia University as case studies. Marcus linked “the recent increase in campus anti-Semitism” as “closely associated with increasing anti-Zionist sentiments and with liberal or left-wing elements at many American universities.”

    Kenneth L. Marcus, “Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 15, no.3 (February 2007).

    [Kenneth L. Marcus, Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 837 (2007)] http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmborj/vol15/iss3/4]

    Marcus lays out the generally accepted guidelines for how to distinguish political antisemitism from legitimate criticism of Israel using material from Natan Sharansky’s 3D approach, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia of the European Union (EUMC), the USCCR, and other agencies.

    Marcus then links this burgeoning form of antisemitism with certain forms of liberal or left-wing activism, which have sometimes embraced antisemitism together with support for Palestinian causes both in Europe and in the United States. College campuses have become prime propagators of antisemitism, Marcus writes, due to the “perfect storm” of factors in American universities .

    According to Marcus:

    ===The politics of many American college campuses have become overwhelmingly liberal.

    ===Extremist voices are disproportionately influential on college campuses and are frequently able to "capture organizational" apparatuses even when they do not command majority support;'

    ===Contemporary anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist ideologies mesh well with anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-war ideologies, and ideologies that are also common on college campuses.

    ===Anti-Israel groups have targeted campuses as "an arena for the anti-Israel agenda," just as, in fairness, pro-Israel groups have targeted campuses for a pro-Israel agenda;

    ===“Since the collapse of the Oslo accords... Israel has been depicted in much of the press as the ‘oppressor.’”

    ===Many universities have failed to take appropriate action to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism, largely as a result of bureaucratic inertia;

    ===Many figures who have the authority to stand up to the perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents (e.g., administrators, trustees, faculty) fail to exercise appropriate leadership for fear of "rock[ing] the boat," "appear[ing] overzealous, or interfering with academic freedom."

    Kenneth L. Marcus, Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 837 (2007), http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmborj/vol15/iss3/4

    This is a highly ideologically-slanted view of reality generally consistent with a sector of the US political right, especially the Neoconservative movement.

    See also: “The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism on American College Campuses”
    Current Psychology, Vol. 26, Nos. 3 & 4, 2007   https://www.academia.edu/3099899/The_resurgence_of_anti-Semitism_on_American_college_campuses

    2007 OCR Issues Findings on UC-Irvine

    It was not until late 2007 that the OCR released its findings. On November 30, 2007, Charles R. Love, program manager at the OCR’s San Francisco regional office, wrote to the chancellor at UC-Irvine concluding that there was “insufficient evidence to support the complainant’s allegation that the University failed to respond promptly and effectively to complaints by Jewish students that they were harassed and subjected to a hostile environment.”

    The OCR spelled out that thought “the complainant alleged that Jewish students at the University were subjected to harassment and a hostile environment based on their national origin. In some circumstances, discrimination based on national origin, which is prohibited by Title VI, may be commingled with discrimination based on religion.”

    2007 OCR Policy Reversal

    However, in a reversal of its September 2004 policy change, the November 2007 letter stated, “OCR’s jurisdiction under Title VI does not extend to allegations of discrimination on the basis of religion.” The letter continued, OCR would investigate allegations “even if” the complaint also has characteristics of religious discrimination.

    The OCR had absolved UC-Irvine of Title VI violation, dismissing five of the thirteen allegations as untimely. Of the remaining eight violations, some were found to be outside the OCR’s jurisdiction, some were within the OCR’s jurisdiction, though the university had responded appropriately and sufficiently, and the remaining did not have “evidence to support the allegation that the University’s action was based on the national origin of the complaining Jewish students.”

    The response was not met well, especially in light of the USCCR’s findings on college campuses and antisemitism, which was released the previous year. When the OCR issued its negative appraisal of ZOA’s complaint against UC Irvine it reflected none of the USCCR’s findings or recommendations. This caused much consternation among some of the players, especially Marcus.

    Kenneth L. Marcus, “A Blind Eye to Campus Anti-Semitism?” Commentary, (September 2010), 42-47, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/a-blind-eye-to-campus-anti-semitism/.
    Pressure for a realignment of policy at OCR began to build.

     

    2007 USCCR State Advisory Committees are Stacked with Right-Wing Ideologues

    The Example of Hawaii

     http://starbulletin.com/2007/07/14/news/story03.html
    Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 14, 2007
    Civil rights panel picks prompt debate
    The advisory board's selections include Akaka Bill opponents

    By Alexandre Da Silva

    ===Michael Yaki, a San Francisco attorney who sits on the Civil Rights Commission, said yesterday's vote "reflects the rightward shift" of the group "under the present administration."
    "I'm extremely disappointed that the commission has chosen to have a committee that does not even believe in the basic sovereign rights of native Hawaiians," said Yaki, a Democrat.

     http://starbulletin.com/2007/07/17/editorial/editorial01.html
    Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 17, 2007

    OUR OPINION
    New civil rights panel might not reflect local sentiment

    ===Ignoring that sentiment in revamping the advisory committee, the commission appears to have opted for a balance between pros and cons and departed from its "eyes and ears" doctrine. The change is consistent with steering away from its longtime tendency to appoint advisory committee members who favor protection of minority rights.

    ===A 2005 report by the congressional General Accountability Office observed that the commission had begun "revising state advisory committee membership in order to, among other things, move away from racially and ethnically based representation toward greater diversity in expertise and ideas."

    MARK NIESSE
    HONOLULU (AP)

    ===The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights used new term limits and its broad appointment power to gut and restock its Hawaii advisory panel with more conservative members who are likely to agree with its opposition to Native Hawaiian recognition.

    ===The abrupt change in the makeup of the Hawaii advisory committee is the latest in a commission campaign to make over state panels in its own image and stack the deck against affirmative action and other race-based programs across the country, says one of the national commissioners concerned about the direction the panel is taking.

    “===The right-wing majority on the commission has decided they're tired of state committees putting out reports that advocate for civil rights,” said Michael Yaki, a San Francisco attorney who sits on the eight-member national commission. “They turn a blind eye to continuing racial injustice and civil rights problems that exist.”

    ===The commission's national staff director says it's just trying to get more views represented on state panels, which serve as its “eyes and ears” around the country.

    “===It's important to have a vibrant diversity of opinion,” said staff director Kenneth L. Marcus in a phone interview.

    ===The U.S. commission approved 14 new members for its 17-member Hawaii advisory committee last week. The new panel has seven Democrats and seven Republicans, plus three independents. At least four of the Republicans and one independent have actively campaigned, filed lawsuits or contributed money against Hawaiian recognition.

    ===Critics say the panel may have the numbers to swing against the Akaka bill, named for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, that would give Native Hawaiians similar status to American Indians.

    ===The state panel had supported the bill, but some of its new members will try to align it with the Bush administration and many mainland Republicans who oppose race-based programs. Last year, the U.S. commission ignored its state advisory committee and recommended that Congress kill the measure, which stalled in the U.S. Senate.

    ===A key to the commission's sweeping restructuring of state panels was a new 10-year limit on membership that opened the way for many state seats to be filled with new, sympathetic committee members, Yaki said. Previously, members could serve unlimited two-year terms.

    ===In Hawaii, at least five panel members were ineligible because of the term limits.

    ===A vacancy in the commission's Western region also gave the national staff director oversight of the new makeup of Hawaii's panel. Ordinarily, the regional director nominates panel members to be approved by the commission.

    ===Marcus, a Bush appointee, denies there's an effort to align the Hawaii panel against the Akaka bill, saying both liberals and conservatives were appointed.

    ===But Yaki said about two dozen state advisory panels so far have been restructured to bring in members who will support positions taken by the U.S. commission.

    ===In several reports over the past decade, the Government Accountability Office has been critical of the commission and its oversight of state advisory committees. In a 2005 report, the congressional watchdog noted state committee memberships were being revised by the increasingly conservative panel partly to get away from racially and ethnically based representation.

    Changes in the Hawaii panel members were politically motivated, said Faye Kennedy, one of the former advisory panel members affected by the term limits.

    “===Those people don't have any commitment to civil rights. In my opinion, they have a commitment to opposing the civil rights of Native Hawaiians,” said Kennedy, co-chair of the group Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights.

    ===The U.S. commission approved the 14 new Hawaii panelists on a 6-2 vote Friday in Washington. They were voted on as a group, despite objections from Yaki who wanted a separate vote on one of the nominees.

    ===New members on the Hawaii committee include H. William Burgess, an attorney and activist who has fought Hawaiian-only government programs; James Kuroiwa Jr., who joined taxpayers in a lawsuit challenging state funding of Native Hawaiian programs; Tom Macdonald, a board member of the libertarian Grassroot Institute of Hawaii that has opposed Native Hawaiian recognition; Paul Sullivan, an attorney who has written against federal recognition; and Rubellite Johnson, a Hawaiian language scholar and opponent of the legislation.

    “===The history of the use of racial preferences by governments ... has been disastrous,” Burgess said. “If you give entitlements, they should be based on merit or need.”

    ===Marcus, in drawing up his list of appointees, denied they were stacked against the Akaka bill, noting that five of the more liberal members were recommended by Hawaii's congressional delegation, the NAACP and a disability rights organization.

    “===We appointed some members who strongly agree with the bill, and others who strongly oppose it,” Marcus said.

    ===But none of the nine people suggested for seats by the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which supports federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, was put on the state panel, said OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo.

    “===It looks very odd that there would be this move to appoint people who have taken a public position in opposition to the Hawaiian federal recognition legislation,” Namuo said


    ===A vacancy in the commission's Western region also gave the national staff director oversight of the new makeup of Hawaii's panel. Ordinarily, the regional director nominates panel members to be approved by the commission.

    ===Marcus, a Bush appointee, denies there's an effort to align the Hawaii panel against the Akaka bill, saying both liberals and conservatives were appointed.

    ===But Yaki said about two dozen state advisory panels so far have been restructured to bring in members who will support positions taken by the U.S. commission.

    ===In several reports over the past decade, the Government Accountability Office has been critical of the commission and its oversight of state advisory committees. In a 2005 report, the congressional watchdog noted state committee memberships were being revised by the increasingly conservative panel partly to get away from racially and ethnically based representation.

    ===Changes in the Hawaii panel members were politically motivated, said Faye Kennedy, one of the former advisory panel members affected by the term limits.

    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/19/news/state/14_40_347_18_07.txt
    North County Times, Serving San Diego and Riverside Counties
    July 19, 2007
    U.S. Civil Rights body uses power to revamp Hawaii panel
    By: MARK NIESSE - Associated Press

    ===HONOLULU -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights used new term limits and its broad appointment power to gut and restock its Hawaii advisory panel with more conservative members who are likely to agree with its opposition to Native Hawaiian recognition.

    ===The abrupt change in the makeup of the Hawaii advisory committee is the latest in a commission campaign to make over state panels in its own image and stack the deck against affirmative action and other race-based programs across the country, says one of the national commissioners concerned about the direction the panel is taking.

    ==="The right-wing majority on the commission has decided they're tired of state committees putting out reports that advocate for civil rights," said Michael Yaki, a San Francisco attorney who sits on the eight-member national commission. "They turn a blind eye to continuing racial injustice and civil rights problems that exist."

    ===The commission's national staff director says it's just trying to get more views represented on state panels, which serve as its "eyes and ears" around the country.

    2007 - December

    The Hillel Foundation identifies four common forms of antisemitism on campus:

    • Outright Anti–Semitism.
    • Anti–Israel political speech that becomes anti–Semitic speech or acts.
    • Interpersonal problems expressed as anti–Semitism.
    • Anti–Semitism Born of Ignorance.

    A 2007 Hillel study found that “51 percent of college students reported that they felt anti–Semitism during the past three years either on campus or while they were still in high school.” Hillel, however, noted that feelings “can be deceiving: The 2000 National Jewish Population Survey reported that while the vast majority of college students perceived anti–Semitism, only 26 percent had personally experienced it.”

     “We take all incidents seriously,” explains Hillel Associate Vice President for Communications Jeff Rubin. “Most reported ‘antisemitic’ occurrences may be simple vandalism, interpersonal hostility, or simple ignorance of symbols that are offensive to Jews,” says Rubin, who counsels campuses when antisemitic incidents occur.


    Hillel Foundation, “Anti–Semitism on the College Campuses, December 2007, http://www.hillel.org/about/news/2007/dec/12dec2007_antisemitism.htm.

    Ibid.

    Ibid.


    After 2007

    January 2008  - Marcus Leaves USCCR

    Two months following the DOE/OCR’s policy reversal, Marcus left the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to teach at Baruch College at the City University of New York. Over the next few years Marcus produces a number of scholarly studies pursuing his ideological viewpoints.
    For a list of papers by Kenneth L. Marcus, see: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=791913

    2008 Spring

    Kenneth L. Marcus, “The Second Mutation: Israel and Political Anti-Semitism,” inFocus Quarterly, Spring 2008 vol. II, no. 1
    http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/114/the-second-mutation-israel-and-political-anti

    October 2008

    Marcus pens “The Right Frontier for Civil Rights Reform.” The title is a clever pun, while the ideological drift is clearly sailing. George Mason University is heavily funded by right-wing foundations and donors.


    According to Marcus:

    ===Since December 2004, when conservatives regained majority control over the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Commission has dramatically changed its course on matters of civil rights policy. While the Commission's recent work has addressed numerous issues, it has returned repeatedly to the issue of affirmative action. This Article demonstrates that the Commission's new work forms a consistent, coherent body of inquiry regarding the moral legitimacy, legal validity, and policy appropriateness of the use of racial preferences in a wide range of applications, with particular emphasis upon American law school admissions.

    Kenneth L. Marcus, “The Right Frontier for Civil Rights Reform,” October 14, 2008 George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal (CRLJ), Vol. 19, No. 1, 2008 

    Related:
    See the funding strategy outlined by the Powell Memo ]]]
    Overview
    Actual Text

    2008 December - Briefing on English in the Workplace
    USCCR Briefing

    “Specifying English as the Common Language in the Workplace: Every Employer's Right or a Violation of Federal Law?”

    A number of groups that oppose the English Only movement were invited to send speakers, but most declined.

    According to Staff Director Dannenfelser, originally the invitees included 10 individuals or organizations “who were opposed to English in the workplace, and four who were in favor.”
    “The four that were invited who were in favor agreed to participate; and, in fact, are participating. Eight who were invited declined to participate, two agreed to participate and then withdrew.”

    COMMISSIONER YAKI:

    ===Well…in response to that…I actually had some discussions with some of the groups, and I think that the best way to describe it was that they had no interest in appearing. Now, you could take from that whatever you will, but I think that one of the things that we have to face, and I think if we track some of our briefings over the past six months, it's becoming more and more apparent that there are a number of organizations who used to, and no longer wish to participate before our proceedings.

    ===And I think that at some point we need to ask ourselves a question why? What is it about we are doing that is casting this chill on participation upon some groups who freely testified before Congress, the Administration, and other legislative and judicial bodies across this country, but not for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights? And I think it's something that we need to look into. I'm not going to cast any blame or aspersion as to why it is. But I think that as we go forward, especially in the New Year, and with the new administration, we need to take a hard look at what it is that we're doing that is causing a dearth of balance on some of these panels; notwithstanding the fact that even if the two had shown up, they still would have been outnumbered in terms of interest or advocacy, or non-profit organizations that would have appeared.

    Prisons Report

    During the tenure of Marcus, the USCCR issued reports tha were substandard.

    Dissent of Commissioners Arlan Melendez and Michael Yaki

    ===This report does not live up to the Commission’s standards and shows that the agency has lost its ability to engage in serious review of civil rights issues, even on its major annual project.

    ===The report is remarkable for its lack of analysis, inability to make specific findings of discrimination, and its unwillingness to require administration offices to answer tough questions. Critical threshold issues are disregarded, including how the extraordinary legal burdens imposed on complainants by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) have affected current litigation, and whether the PLRA’s provisions have unnecessarily hampered prisoners’ religious rights. Just as remarkably, the report takes at face-value prison officials’ claims that national-security concerns require them to limit prisoners’ religious exercise rights, and elevates those vague claims to play a key role in the Commission’s finding and recommendations.

    2009 March

    Marcus writes an excellent article on civil rights and Islamophobia:
    Jailhouse Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Discrimination in American Prisons.”

    === The post-9/11 surge in America's Muslim prison population has stirred deep-seated fears, including the specter that American prisons will become a breeding system for "radicalized Islam." With these fears have come restraints on Muslim religious expression. Some mistreatment of Muslim prisoners violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), which Congress passed in part to protect prisoners from religious discrimination. Despite RLUIPA, many Muslim prisoners still face the same challenges that preceded the legislation.


    Jailhouse Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Discrimination in American Prisons, Race & Social Problems, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 36-44, March 2009, Accepted Paper Series http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1678008

    2009 April – Marcus Article

    “Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism”
    Kenneth L. Marcus, “Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism,” Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 44, 2009 

    Marcus Joins IJCR

    Marcus is recruited by Gary Tobin, author of The Uncivil University, whom he had befriended through his work in government, to come to work with the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (IJCR). Marcus became the group’s Executive Vice President and Director of The Anti-Semitism Initiative.

    2010 September

    While at the IJCR, Marcus writes “Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America,” a book which details both his time in civil service (serving at the OCR and at the USCCR), as well as a larger treatise on the question, “what exactly are the Jewish people?” using case law and self-awareness to ask big questions about whether Jews are a race, (or?) an ethnic group, and the meaning of these things. Marcus’ book was excerpted into a September 2010 article for Commentary magazine, and garnered much attention.
    Marcus (September 2010), 42-47.]]]

    2010 October

    Under pressure, the Office for Civil Rights once again restates a version of its policy. On October 26, 2010, OCR assistant secretary Russlynn H. Ali circulated a letter saying that “groups that face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics may not be denied protection under Title VI on the ground that they also share a common faith.”

    Marcus was considered to have played “the singular role” in “helping to secure civil rights protections for Jews faced with antisemitic harassment and discrimination on US campuses.”

    Anne Herzberg, “Bookreview: Protecting Jews from Campus Antisemitism,” SPME Reviews and Recommendations, (March 21, 2011),
    http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=7809.

    Organizations such as the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League, and the Zionist Organization of America reacted favorably to the policy changes.

    “ADL Hails Department of Education Efforts to Counter Bullying,” ADL Press Release, (October 26, 2010), http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Education_01/5886_01.htm;

    “AJC Praises DOE Clarification of Civil Rights Protections for Jewish Students,” AJC Press Release, (October 26, 2010), http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ffITK0OyFoG&b=2818837&ct=8840603

    While the actual policy is broadly framed to include persons on campus targeted due to “actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics,” The move is widely hailed for protecting Jews with scant if any mention of other ethnicities.

    2010 – December 8

    Marcus:

    ===”Buried in the recent policy statement on bullying in the public schools, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced a major policy on anti-Semitism: For only the second time in its history, OCR pledged that it would use its civil rights enforcement powers to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment.

    ===”The landmark ruling bolsters the 2004 policy that I issued while heading OCR during the first George W. Bush administration but which had been abandoned or ignored in the intervening years. The new policy is a big deal for students on many college campuses, where anti-Semitism has made a startling return. However, it is hardly clear whether OCR will enforce it fully.”

    Op-Ed: U.S. must enforce policy on campus harassment, Kenneth L. Marcus, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 8, 2010 http://www.jta.org/2010/12/08/news-opinion/opinion/op-ed-u-s-must-enforce-policy-on-campus-harassment

    2010

    Kenneth Marcus, Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America. (New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010)

    ]]]

     

    2010 December 20 - Nathan Glazer Reviews Marcus

    Nathan Glazer, "Speech-Acts," The New Republic, Politics Column, December 20 2010


    ===“There is no question that Marcus has nailed the case, certainly to my satisfaction, that Jews are covered under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. What is more doubtful was whether what was happening at Irvine and at other campuses was discrimination against Jews, if simply and directly understood, and what should or could have been done about it.”

    ===“Despite the full account of the case up to the time of publication, there are aspects of the situation that are left curiously unexplored. Just what was the situation at the Irvine campus? Who was sponsoring the objectionable lectures and speeches? Student organizations, university bodies, faculty? Who was paying for them? Did Jewish students who had been harassed and attacked identify those who had harassed and attacked them, and what action did the university take in response, if any? What should the OCR have done if it had accepted the conclusion of the Regional Office of OCR that there was an uncomfortable situation for Jews as a result of anti-Israeli activities on the Irvine campus? And what good would it have done if the campus administration had undertaken whatever action the OCR proposed?”

    === [Marcus] is somewhat coy in presenting his own role in first creating the policy, and then pushing the CCR and perhaps Congress to push the OCR, in the hands of his successors, to enforce the policy. His name does not appear in the index, but his crucial role is evident from the text and the footnotes.

    ===One gathers that he also was involved in informing Congressmen that OCR was not properly responding to complaints of Jewish harassment and institutional policies that do not challenge an atmosphere of discomfort for Jews.

    ===Marcus charges in the book, that “although OCR’s career staff determined that a hostile environment had formed at Irvine, they were overruled by political appointees within the second George W. Bush administration.” Does this suggest that Marcus was not a political appointee?

    ===But this is not the end of the case. In the last few pages we learn that Arthur Zeidman [the former director of the San Francisco regional office of the OCR] “has sued the OCR for employment discrimination, arguing that he was adversely treated as a Jew because of the manner in which he attempted to pursue the case.” 


    Nathan Glazer, "Speech-Acts," The New Republic, Politics Column, December 20 2010 http://www.newrepublic.com/book/review/speech-acts

    April 2011

    Marcus would later write about the “The New OCR Antisemitism Policy.”
    ]]]include dates


    Kenneth L. Marcus,  “The New OCR Antisemitism Policy.” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, Vol. 2.

    === The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued important policy guidance on bullying and harassment in October 2010. Although easily overlooked within this policy document, OCR's new guidance includes an important statement regarding OCR's position on anti-Semitism within federally funded educational programs and activities. In a nutshell, OCR has reinstated its long-disregarded 2004 policy, which had established that OCR would prosecute cases of harassment that are based on ethnic or ancestral discrimination, even though OCR lacks jurisdiction to address cases of purely religious discrimination.

    ===This conference paper, delivered at the inaugural symposium of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, argues that the Obama administration's October 2010 OCR anti-Semitism policy is a bold and important advance but that its success or failure in practice will depend on three questions:

    ===First, can OCR properly define anti-Semitism in practice, distinguishing it where appropriate from non-discriminatory criticism of the State of Israel?

    ===Second, can OCR properly respect the boundaries between harassment law and the Speech Clause of the First Amendment?

    ===Third, will Congress close the remaining loophole which permits discrimination against ethno-religious minorities if it is based exclusively on religion but not if it is based in part on ethnicity?

    2011 – June

    After his departure from civil service, Marcus was still committed to a policy change regarding Title VI and antisemitism. After joining the IJCR staff, Marcus lobbied legislators and gave testimony to the USCCR, usually about the uptick in antisemitism on college campuses.

    March 2011

    The debate on campus antisemitism, however, was far from over. With allegations circulating that antisemitism was rampant at Rutgers University, UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz, among other campuses, the new powers of Title VI were being flexed; as of March 2011, UC-Santa Cruz was now under investigation by the OCR for Title VI violations.

    March 15, 2011

    “Education Dept. Investigates Complaint of Anti-Semitism at UC-Santa Cruz”
    By Peter Schmidt

    ===“The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has announced plans to investigate the University of California at Santa Cruz for anti-Semitism, based on a lecturer's complaint that administrators there had turned a deaf ear to her concerns that critics of Israel were creating a hostile climate for Jewish people on the campus.”

    ===“Kenneth L. Marcus, who was the Education Department's assistant secretary for civil rights from 2002 to 2004 and now directs the Institute for Jewish and Community Research's efforts to fight anti-Semitism….”

     

    2012 November - USSCR finally holds briefing on Islamophobia

    === CHAIRMAN CASTRO: I'm calling the Briefing to order at 9:34 a.m. I'm Chairman Marty Castro, and I'm really happy to welcome all of you this morning to our briefing on the Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Arab and Muslim American Communities Post 9/11.

    ===Today is November 9th 8 , 2012. We have on the phone with us Commissioner Yaki, who for various reasons could not be with us personally today, but I want to thank and commend Commissioner Yaki on this briefing today. It is a briefing that he has been working on and advocating for many years.

    ]]] add outcome list here

    References for this Section

    Ibid.

    American Jewish Committee, “AJC Report Finds European Anti–Zionism Is New Form of Anti–Semitism,” March 26, 2004. http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=849241&ct=872841

    David A. Harris, “Address to the International Conference on Antisemitism,” American Jewish Committee, April 28, 2004. http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=849241&ct=1140689

    Beate Winkler, "Confronting Antisemitism–Mobilizing Governments," 11th International Leadership Conference of the American Jewish Committee, May 9, 2004. http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=838459&ct=1125009

    Ibid.

    Morton Klein, “ZOA Complaint Triggered Federal Anti-Semitism Investigation At UC Irvine, Says U.S. Civil Rights Commission,” Zionist Organization of America, May 18, 2006, http://zoa.makeitallwork.com/2006/05/101592-zoa-complaint-triggered-federal-anti-semitism-investigation-at-uc-irvine-says-u-s-civil-rights-commission/; U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights. Education and Title VI . (Washington DC: Office for Civil Rights, 2005), http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq43e4.html.

    Morton Klein, “U.S. Government Agrees To Investigate ZOA's Complaint About Harassment Of Jewish Students At UC-Irvine,” Zionist Organization of America, November 8, 2004. http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=1091

    Klein (2004).

    Natan Sharansky, “3D Test of Anti–Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Fall 2004 http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas–sharansky–f04.htm

    Kenneth Marcus, “Curriculum Vitae,” (March 2013), http://faculty.laverne.edu/~marcusk/homepage/Marcus-CV-March_2013.pdf.

    U.S. Department of State, “Report on Global Anti–Semitism,” January 5, 2005. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/40258.htm

    USCCR (2006), 2.

    USCCR (2006), 1.

    Review by author Berlet of letters on file at the offices of the USCCR in Washington, DC.

    Ibid, 5.

    Ibid, 7.

    Ibid, 24.

    Ibid.

    Ibid, 8.

    Ibid.

    Ibid.

    Ibid, 847-848.

    Ibid, 849.

    Marcus cites: Deborah E. Lipstadt, “Strategic Responses to Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism,” in American Jewry And The College Campus: Best Of Times Or Worst Of Times? 32 (Deborah E. Lipstadt et al. eds. 2005), 19.

    Marcus cites: Deborah E. Lipstadt, “Strategic Responses to Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism,” in American Jewry And The College Campus: Best Of Times Or Worst Of Times? 32 (Deborah E. Lipstadt et al. eds., 2005), p.19. ]]]

    U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region IX. Letter to Dr. Michael V. Drake, by Charles Love,” (November 30, 2007), 10-11, http://images.ocregister.com/newsimages/news/2007/12/OCR_Report_120507-Z05145157-0001.pdf   

    Ibid, 1.

    Ibid.

    Ibid.

    Ibid, 2.

    Ibid, 7.

    Morton Klein, “ZOA Applauds Members of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Demanding Answers to U.S. Education Department’s Troubling Report of Campus Anti-Semitism,” Zionist Organization of America, (March 5, 2008), http://zoa.org/2008/03/10718-zoa-applauds-members-of-u-s-senate-judiciary-committee-for-demanding-answers-to-u-s-education-departments-troubling-report-on-campus-anti-semitism/; Morton Klein, “Federal Government Initiates New Investigation into UC-Irvine’s Response to Campus Anti-Semitism,” Zionist Organization of America, (June 6, 2008), http://zoa.makeitallwork.com/2008/06/101438-federal-government-initiates-new-investigation-into-uc-irvines-response-to-campus-anti-semitism/.

    “Civil Rights Commissioner to Step Down,” Reuters, (January 7, 2008), http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/07/idUS207414+07-Jan-2008+PRN20080107

    Pine, Dan. “Civil Rights Ace now Seeks to Trump Anti-Semitism.” Jweekly ( June 16, 2011). http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/62107/civil-rights-ace-now-seeks-to-trump-anti-semitism/

    Peter, Schmidt, "Education Dept. Investigates Complaint of Anti-Semitism at UC-Santa Cruz,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, (March 15, 2011), http://chronicle.com/article/Education-Dept-Investigates/126742/.



     

    The Silencing of Kenneth Stern

    April 2011 – Nelson/Stern Letter

    Civil libertarians including Kenneth Stern of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and Cary Nelson of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) who were concerned with the chilling of free speech on campus. Stern and Nelson primarily were directing their concerns at government agencies that claimed authority to sanction incidents of antisemitism on U.S. college campuses.

    While antisemitism and bigotry must be taken seriously, said AJC’s Ken Stern and AAUP’s Cary Nelson, many of the recent suits were a misinterpretation of the new reach of Title VI and the EUMC’s working definition on antisemitism. This interpretation, the two said, allows and necessitates the opposition to any and all anti-Israel events in order to protect Jewish students—which is misguided and promotes censorship. Those misguided attempts “simply seek to silence anti-Israel discourse and speakers,” the two wrote. “This approach is not only unwarranted under Title VI, it is dangerous.”

    Referencing the EUMC’s working definition, now embraced by the U.S. State Department and the USCCR, Stern and Nelson emphasized:

    ===The “working definition” while clearly stating that criticism of Israel in the main is not anti-Semitic, gives some examples of when anti-Semitism may be in play, such as holding Jews collectively responsible for acts of the Israeli state, comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, or denying to Jews the right of self determination (such as by claiming that Zionism is racism). In recent years the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights have embraced this definition too.

    ===It is entirely proper for university administrators, scholars, and students to reference the “working definition” in identifying definite or possible instances of anti-Semitism on campus. It is a perversion of the definition to use it, as some are doing, in an attempt to censor what a professor, student, or speaker can say. Because a statement might be “countable” by data collectors under the “working definition” does not therefore mean that Title VI is violated. To assert this not only contravenes the definition’s purpose (it was not drafted to label anyone an anti-Semite or to limit campus speech), it also harms the battle against anti-Semitism.

    Read the full joint letter here:

    http://www.aaup.org/news/cary-nelson-and-kenneth-stern-pen-open-letter-campus-antisemitism

    2011 April 22 Tobin Essay

    Stern’s and Nelson’s piece was met with strong resistance from Jonathan Tobin. Tobin contended that their piece discounted the dangerous happenings on campuses such as UC-Irvine. Situations like the one at UC Irvine which incorporated debate on Israel into its events were part of the issue that promoted the Department of Education to investigate, Tobin wrote in Commentary magazine.
    Jonathan S. Tobin, “The Reality of Campus Anti-Semitism,” Commentary, (April 22, 2011), http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/04/22/reality-of-campus-antisemitism/

    2011 April 22 Blogpost by Horowitz

    David Horowitz, “AAUP and AJC Support for Anti-Semites on Campus,” NewsReal Blog, (April 22, 2011),
    http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/04/22/aaup-and-ajc-support-for-anti-semites-on-campus/.

    2011 May 29

    Stern, Nelson, and Tobin embarked on a back-and-forth debate, with Stern and Nelson insisting that Tobin had “completely misconstrue[d] [their] piece on campus antisemitism” and had falsely alleged that the AJC was dismissive on antisemitic incidents while Tobin ignored the censorship and free speech element of their piece.

    Jonathan S. Tobin, “The Reality of Campus Anti-Semitism: An Exchange,” Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, (May 9, 2011), http://spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=7993

    Tobin’s concern was the Stern and Nelson letter “stakes out a position that makes it unlikely that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act will ever be applied to protect Jews from anti-Semitism on college campuses.”  This was not a debate to create a “hate speech code,” Tobin argued, but to “compel the government to act when academic debate about the issues spills over into hostile actions that serve to suppress free speech and to threaten the safety of Jewish students.”

    Jonathan S. Tobin, “The Reality of Campus Anti-Semitism: An Exchange,” Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, (May 9, 2011), http://spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=7993

    2011 August 17 AJC Disavows Stern & Nelson Letter

    Peter Schmidt, “American Jewish Committee Disavows Statement with AAUP on Campus Anti-Semitism,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, (August 17, 2011),
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/american-jewish-committee-disavows-statement-with-aaup-on-campus-anti-semitism/35441;

    2011 August 23 - Op-Ed by Marcus

    Marcus gloats over his victory in the campaign to silence Ken Stern
    Kenneth Marcus, “AJC Gets it Right on Campus Anti-Semitism at Last,” Forward, (August 23, 2011)
    http://forward.com/articles/141737/ajc-gets-it-right-on-campus-anti-semitism-at-last/;

    From the Constructing Camus Conflict Report:

    ===“At stake, now, was if and when the Department of Education’s enforcement of Title VI through its Office for Civil Rights would undermine free speech and debate on college and university campuses in the United States.”

    The answer became clear in 2014


    The AAUP, which initially published the statement by Nelson and Stern, briefly removed the letter from their website, and the AJC publically disavowed the statement, perhaps due to substantial backlash in the Jewish community. See:
    Peter Schmidt, “American Jewish Committee Disavows Statement with AAUP on Campus Anti-Semitism,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, (August 17, 2011), http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/american-jewish-committee-disavows-statement-with-aaup-on-campus-anti-semitism/35441;

    Kenneth Marcus, “AJC Gets it Right on Campus Anti-Semitism at Last,” Forward, (August 23, 2011), http://forward.com/articles/141737/ajc-gets-it-right-on-campus-anti-semitism-at-last/;

    David Horowitz, “AAUP and AJC Support for Anti-Semites on Campus,” NewsReal Blog, (April 22, 2011), http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/04/22/aaup-and-ajc-support-for-anti-semites-on-campus/.

    Nelson and Stern’s statement can still be found online is a variety of places, as it was reprinted elsewhere, e.g. Kenneth Stern and Cary Nelson, “D2. American Association of University Professors and American Jewish Committee. ‘AntiSemitism on Campus,’ Washington, 20 April 2011,” Journal of Palestine Studies 40, no. 4 (Summer 2011), 219-220.
    ]]]

    Nelson and Stern (2011), 220.


     

    The Continuing Conflict 2011-2015

    Postscripts

    Kenneth L. Marcus, Academic Freedom and Political Indoctrination, The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Working Paper Series, 9 May 2011

    ===The conflation of academic freedom with political advocacy is most apparent in academic treatments of the Middle East. In 2006, for example, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights observed that “many university departments of Middle East studies provide one-sided, highly polemical academic presentations and some may repress legitimate debate concerning Israel.”4

    ===Some commentators have argued that academic freedom has been abused as a means of justifying virulent criticisms of Israel which would otherwise be dismissed as intellectually unsupportable.5


    ===At the same time, there is now a significant sub-genre of scholarly writing consisting of essays about the putative threat to academic freedom posed by charges that many academic treatments of the State of Israel lack scholarly merit and that .some are tinged with anti-Semitism.6

    ===AAUP President Cary Nelson, who devotes a full chapter of his volume on academic freedom to the Middle East conflict, acknowledges that “there is one area where tension and misrepresentation reign supreme: campus incarnations of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”7



    4 U.S. Comm’n on Civ. Rts., Findings and Recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Regarding Campus Anti-Semitism (Apr. 3, 2006), http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/050306FRUSCCRRCAS.pdf. The author served as staff director of the Commission at this time and was the principal author of this document.

    5 See, e.g., Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Anti-Zionism and the Abuse of Academic Freedom: A Case Study at the University of California, Santa Cruz, POST-HOLOCAUST AND ANTI-SEMITISM, No. 77 (Feb. 12009 / 7 Shevat 5769); Leila Beckwith and Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Academic Freedom and the Anti-Zionists, AMERICAN THINKER (Mar. 14, 2009), http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/does_academic_freedom_have_lim.html.

    6 See, e.g., ACADEMIC FREEDOM AFTER SEPTEMBER 11 (Beshara Doumani, ed.) (2006).

    7 CARY NELSON, NO UNIVERSITY IS AN ISLAND: SAVING ACADEMIC FREEDOM (2010) 109.

    2011 - June

    ===Jews decry Yale closing anti-Semitism study center | JPost | Israel News: " Jews decry Yale closing anti-Semitism study center By JORDANA HORN Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism is to close at the end of July, sparking fierce objection from community

    A few days later…

    ===Yale University launches new program on anti-Semitism | JPost | Israel News: "Yale University launches new program on anti-Semitism"

    === After summarily closing the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) earlier this month, Yale University has announced the creation of the Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism (YPSA), a program devoted to “serious scholarly discourse and research” on anti-Semitism and its manifestations.

    ===YIISA’s former executive director and founder Charles Small said the announcement of the new program “underscores [his] greatest concern about the university’s vision for the study of this subject,” which is that Yale has chosen to examine past, rather than present and future, anti-Semitism.

    The Institute was later moved to a relationship with the Hoover Institution, a mainstay of ideological right-wing research for many decades. ]]]check current relationship

    ]]] quote Marcus & Hirsh?

    2012 Beinart/ Rosenwasser Incident

    "McCarthyist Blacklisting of Jews Who Support Justice for Both Israelis and Palestinians"

    by Chip Berlet - Talk to Action

    Berkeley, California is famous for Free Speech issues, so it is especially shocking that the East Bay Jewish Community Center (JCC) withdrew its sponsorship of a speech by Peter Beinart, a Daily Beast political writer. Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism has now cancelled his appearance.

    JCC announced last Friday it was withdrawing sponsorship after it found out that the person slated to introduce Beinart was Penny Rosenwasser, a founding board member of Jewish Voice for Peace. Originally, the Bay Area chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace was co-sponsoring the April 17 speech by Beinart along with the JCC and KPFA Radio, a Pacifica Radio affiliate in the Bay area.


    Beinart is an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a senior fellow at The New America Foundation. He was formerly an editor of The New Republic. In a review of Beinart’s book in the New York Times, Roger Cohen calls it an “important new book that rejects the manipulation of Jewish victimhood in the name of Israel’s domination of the Palestinians” and suggests it is a timely discussion “for the future of Israel." Kirkus Reviews adds: "An elegant, deeply honest look at the failure of Jewish liberalism in forging Israel as a democratic state… Straight talk by a clear-thinking intellectual with his heart in the right place."

    In a statement released by the JCC they wrote they “do not support the activist platform of an organization on which the moderator serves as a board member, and it is for this reason we are withdrawing our sponsorship.”

    They then added:

    ===“We believe everyone should rightly have their say and participate in debate and decisions about how to best support democracy in Israel. However, we will not sponsor a speaking platform for a representative of an organization that calls for withdrawal of economic support for Israel.”

    How exactly does that work? A free and open debate does not include a political blacklist of groups and individuals.

    Read full article here:

    More Resources

    There is now a significant sub-genre of scholarly writing consisting of essays about the putative threat to academic freedom posed by charges that many academic treatments of the State of Israel lack scholarly merit and that some are tinged with anti-Semitism.


    AAUP President Cary Nelson, who devotes a full chapter of his volume on academic freedom to the Middle East conflict, acknowledges that “there is one area where tension and misrepresentation reign supreme: campus incarnations of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

    Kenneth L. Marcus, Academic Freedom and Political Indoctrination, The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Working Paper Series, 9 May 2011

    U.S. Comm’n on Civ. Rts., Findings and Recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Regarding Campus Anti-Semitism (Apr. 3, 2006), http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/050306FRUSCCRRCAS.pdf. The author served as staff director of the Commission at this time and was the principal author of this document.

    See, e.g., Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Anti-Zionism and the Abuse of Academic Freedom: A Case Study at the University of California, Santa Cruz, POST-HOLOCAUST AND ANTI-SEMITISM, No. 77 (Feb. 12009 / 7 Shevat 5769); Leila Beckwith and Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Academic Freedom and the Anti-Zionists, AMERICAN THINKER (Mar. 14, 2009), http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/does_academic_freedom_have_lim.html

    See, e.g., ACADEMIC FREEDOM AFTER SEPTEMBER 11 (Beshara Doumani, ed.) (2006).
    7 CARY NELSON, NO UNIVERSITY IS AN ISLAND: SAVING ACADEMIC FREEDOM (2010) 109.

    2014 - August

    Brandeis Center cites EUMC ]]]

    2014 – December

    Marcus Renews attempts to silence dissent See article on the Dissent NewsWire

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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