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Biden Administration Again Delays Civil Rights Protections Against Antisemitism

Anti-Israel demonstrators rally amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, outside the White House in Washington, US, Nov. 4, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

The administration of US President Joe Biden has once again delayed issuing new federal regulations that would apply the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism to civil rights investigations, a measure that lawmakers and advocates have said would help protect Jewish students from anti-Zionist discrimination and harassment.

The proposed guidelines, based on a directive given in Dec. 2019 by then-President Donald Trump in response to rising anti-Zionist hatred on college campuses, will not be instituted until at least Dec. 2024, after the next presidential election, according to a copy of the proposed rule on the website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism — which has been adopted by dozens of governments and hundreds of civic institutions around the world — includes examples of anti-Israel bias, such as “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” “denying the Jewish people their right to self determination,” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

The US Education Department had initially pledged to issue new regulations in Sept. 2020, but later said it would happen in Jan. 2021. After Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20 of that year, the administration indicated that it had embraced the IHRA working definition but delayed codifying civil rights protections based on it until Dec. 2022. Since then, the department has continued to postpone the date of implementation.

Kenneth Marcus, a former assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department, told The Algemeiner that the new guidance’s delay is disappointing and may be driven by politics. Anti-Israel activists in the US, especially in the Arab and Muslim communities, have criticized Biden over his vocal and material support for Israel’s war against Hamas since the Palestinian terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre. Many have said they will not vote for him next November.

“It may way well be that the Biden White House lacks the political resolve to act forcefully in response to antisemitism, given political considerations involving the Arab and Muslim communities,” said Marcus, the current chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights. “To the extent that the Biden administration is not moving forward on needed regulations, it simply underscores the need for Congress to raise their game. It already has been apparent for recent weeks that the House of Representatives is picking up the slack and moving forward on issues that could have been more effectively handled by the administration.”

Marcus added that the legislative branch of government “does have a crucial to play” and can act now by passing the Antisemitism Awareness Act, a bill supported by both parties that would mandate the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws protecting Jewish Americans. Lawmakers have other options too, he said, pointing to “continued, forceful oversight, such as the promised congressional investigations regarding the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania.”

Marcus acknowledged that the Biden administration has taken important action to address campus antisemitism, recently ruling in April, for example, that discrimination motivated by anti-Zionism contravenes Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. But, he added, delaying the regulations again sends “the wrong message to the higher education community at the worst of all possible times, as antisemitism reaches historical levels on college campuses.”

College campuses across the West have been hubs of such antisemitism since Oct. 7, with students and faculty both demonizing Israel and rationalizing Hamas’ terror onslaught. Incidents of harassment and even violence against Jewish students have also increased. As a result, Jewish students have expressed feeling unsafe and unprotected on campuses. In some cases, Jewish communities on campuses have been forced to endure threats of rape and mass slaughter.

A recent poll, released by Hillel International, found that 37 percent of Jewish college students have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity on campus since Hamas’ Oct. 7 onslaught, in which some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered and 240 others taken as hostages into Gaza. The survey also found that 35 percent of respondents said there have been acts of hate or violence against Jews on campus. A majority of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their university’s response to those incidents.

“These regulations are what the administration has promised to do,” Marcus said. “It’s astonishing that they haven’t been able to issue them, and given the high profile that campus antisemitism has had in recent weeks, this should be the top priority for the Office for Civil Rights.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Biden Administration Again Delays Civil Rights Protections Against Antisemitism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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