NYU to include Trump administration’s anti-Semitism definition in its anti-discrimination policy


(JTA) — New York University has agreed to incorporate the Trump administration’s definition of anti-Semitism in its anti-discrimination policy to head off a federal investigation of the school.

The NYU agreement, revealed this week by Jewish Insider, came after a former student described a hostile environment for Jews on the downtown Manhattan campus, including an incident that occurred at a pro-Israel event.

President Donald Trump’s executive order last year expanded existing penalties for campuses that allow discrimination to include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes some extreme forms of anti-Israel expression. Under the law, the federal government may withdraw funds from a university that allows discrimination to proliferate.

A number of Jewish organizations welcomed Trump’s executive order, but some civil liberties groups say the restrictions on Israel-related speech are too broad and inhibit speech freedoms.

The NYU agreement, appearing in a letter to the lawyers for the complainant from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, includes a revision of the university’s nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policy and a number of steps to make clear to the university community that it is revised.

Because NYU volunteered to make the change, the Office for Civil Rights suspended its investigation.

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