More Good News
February 2017

In this new year, we are pleased with a slew of positive advancements in the fight against anti-Semitism. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is awaiting reintroduction in Congress, having been unanimously passed in the Senate last term. A state version of the bill was just introduced in Virginia. The Modern Language Association heeded LDB's advice and  soundly defeated a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. More state legislation condemns the BDS movement, and similar sentiments are being expressed abroad in Spain. This month's Brandeis Brief follows these and other developments, also featuring positive progress at LDB.  Once again, w e thank you for your tax-deductible  donations  and acknowledge that w ithout you our work could not be done.

How the Government Can Crack Down on Anti-Semitism on College Campuses
Kenneth L. Marcus, Politico

When it comes to anti-Semitism on campus, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has been paralyzed. OCR has not found a single civil rights violation on any campus anti-Semitism case.  The reason for OCR's powerlessness is that it is ill-equipped to recognize anti-Semitism when it sees it. That is to say, OCR has no definition of anti-Semitism. Absent a definition, the office is stymied by anti-Semitism cases and is failing in its mission to protect Jewish students.

LDB Commends MLA for Rejecting BDS
LDB praises the Modern Language Association's Delegate Assembly for voting down a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. LDB had cautioned the MLA against this controversial anti-Israel BDS resolution in December, pointing out that it could subject the association to liability under  Maryland law .

On New Year's Eve, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed two anti-BDS bills into law. The bipartisan legislation prohibits the state from hiring businesses that boycott individuals or public entities of a foreign nation.   The Public Acts 526 and 527 of 2016 condemn national origin discrimination and thus the efforts of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS).

Legal Expert: Virginia Motion to Recognize Antisemitism as Unlawful Discrimination Aims to 'Get Ahead' of Jew-Haters at State-Funded Universities
Lea Spyer, Algemeiner 

Bill 2261, put before the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this month, aims to "get ahead of antisemites," particularly on campuses, where they have been causing Jewish students distress. The bill--which also demands that Virginia schools adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism--would provide tools for the state's public universities to use when applying their existing codes of conduct.

Anti-BDS sentiments reached the Cowboy State this month, as Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn of Jackson, WY encouraged the Wyoming State Legislature to prohibit state agencies from contracting businesses that boycott Isra el.  Mendelsohn called upon Rep. James Byrd, D-Cheyenne, who then sponsored a resolution requiring state agencies to consider whether a company boycotts Israel or other World Trade Organization members when entering into contracts and grants. 

Campus Watchdogs Laud Fordham University's Decision to Ban Notoriously Anti-Israel Student Group
Lea Spyer, Algemeiner 

Watchdogs lauded the recent decision by a New York academic institution to prevent a notoriously anti-Israel group from organizing on its campus. Fordham University's preemptive measure indicates that its administrators grasp the hateful precedent that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has set elsewhere.

UK Lawyers Taking Action Against Palestinian Terrorism
Daniella Hovsha, Brandeis Blog 

Earlier this week, the UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) submitted a complaint to the UK National Contact Point for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regarding the conduct of a multinational service network's providing audit reports from which the Palestinian Authority (PA) has funded the payment of salaries to terrorists.

The Beginning of the End for BDS in Spain
Daniella Hovsha, Brandeis Blog 

A country that topped the Anti-Defamation League's 2015 anti-Semitism index in Western Europe, Spain has long been considered a BDS foothold. Yet, b y fast tracking proceedings for the protection of civil liberties,  Ignacio Wenley Palacios Iglesias--a Jesuit lawyer specializing in nautical law-- and his colleagues have won more than eight cases in which BDS has been declared illegal.

The Second Bristol-Sheffield Hallam Colloquium on Contemporary Anti-Semitism
Katherine Hung, Brandeis Blog 

T he theme of the Second Bristol-Sheffield Hallam Colloquium on Contemporary Anti-Semitism was "Anti-Semitism in the Media: The Old and The New." Panelists spoke about a diversity of topics, ranging from anti-Semitic language in German liberal web discourse to Palestinian liberation theology as a medium for contemporary anti-Semitism.  LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus presented a talk entitled "The Ideology of Jihadi Digital Mass Media," in which he discussed the prevalence of anti-Semitism in online magazines of Jihadi organizations.

LDB Announces the Appointment of Aviva J. Vogelstein to Director of Legal Initiatives

LDB proudly announces the appointment of Aviva J. Vogelstein to Director of Legal Initiatives.  Ms. Vogelstein's appointment marks the ongoing expansion of LDB's legal advocacy initiatives. In April, LDB filed a federal lawsuit against the American Studies Association for its boycott of  Israeli universities . LDB has also increased the number of its law school chapters.

LDB Welcomes Katherine Hung

LDB welcomes Katherine Hung as an intern. Katherine, a freshman at Harvard College, will work with the organization to combat anti-Semitism and promote the civil rights of Jewish students.  Katherine's arrival comes at a crucial time for LDB, in light of the prospective reintroduction of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act in the House of Representatives and rising anti-Semitic incidences on college campuses across the nation.

In This Issue:
Support LDB
Louis Brandeis Photo
The Louis D. Brandeis Center is a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, groups and foundations that share our concern about Jewish college students.  Contributions are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  To support our efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism, please contact us at
12-11-29 Standing KLM photo
Kenneth L. Marcus

Can We Help You? 

The Louis D. Brandeis Center stands ready if we can help you to combat anti-Semitism in higher education.  Please contact us if you are a student or professor who needs our help.  We are also available to provide technical assistance to university administrators who are interested in achieving legal compliance and best practices for eliminating campus anti-Semitism.
Join Our Mailing List