Jewish Leaders: Antisemitism in U.S. Worsens, Urgent Action Needed

Six months after Jewish groups warned the Biden administration about rising antisemitism in the United States, Jewish leaders and a Middle East expert told Fox News Digital that the situation has worsened and highlighted areas where more action is needed.

“In the past 6 months, antisemitism has definitely gotten worse,” said Archie Gottesman, co-founder of JewBelong, in an interview with Fox News Digital this week. Gottesman’s remarks come after prominent Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, met with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona six months ago to express concerns about the unprecedented levels of antisemitism in the U.S.

“College campuses are witnessing violent protests that are increasing in frequency,” Gottesman added. “Those closely monitoring the situation anticipate further escalation of violence, as seen last night at Columbia University, with many protesting students unclear about the reasons behind their actions. Faculty members joining these protests should be ashamed for poorly representing once-revered institutions.”

Gottesman emphasized that the Biden administration has the authority to deploy the National Guard to college campuses facing lawlessness from anti-Israel groups.

“President Biden has the authority to call in the National Guard, yet he hasn’t,” Gottesman noted.

Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), also commented on the worsening antisemitism over the last 6 months, particularly on U.S. college campuses.

“This is the result of misguided policies by the Biden administration, which initially equated antisemitism with so-called Islamophobia and included CAIR on the White House’s antisemitism committee,” Abdul-Hussain explained.

“Since October 7, pro-Hamas groups have gauged President Biden’s stance and noted his softened position after the non-committed vote in Michigan. Consequently, Students for Justice Palestine (SJP), a network founded and led by Islamists, intensified its antisemitic campaign on college campuses.”

Abdul-Hussain argued that the Biden administration should have foreseen these developments.

“If you give a mischievous kid milk, he’ll come back asking for cookies,” Abdul-Hussain metaphorically stated. “That’s exactly what SJP did, believing Biden was susceptible to pressure, which led to students, donning Palestinian Kufiyyah, breaking doors and windows and occupying university buildings nationwide. This has resulted in increased antisemitism and decreased safety for Jewish Americans, both students and the general population.”

Brooke Goldstein, human rights attorney and executive director of The Lawfare Project, emphasized the need for immediate law enforcement action against this threat.

“Law enforcement must be empowered to address this threat without delay. Our elected representatives have a duty to protect us from radicalization and extremism on college campuses, yet they have largely ignored this issue,” Goldstein asserted.

“Our elected officials have either benefited from or turned a blind eye to billions of dollars of dark money from Qatar that contribute to teaching American students to hate America, democracy, Jews, and Israel,” Goldstein continued. “Congressional hearings, with subpoenas, are urgently needed to investigate how millions of dollars from foreign state actors are being spent to destabilize our country. This is not about Israel-Palestine; it’s about undermining America from within.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Secretary Cardona’s office for comment but did not receive a response.

Secretary Cardona faced questioning on Capitol Hill regarding his efforts to combat antisemitism and whether he would expedite Title VI investigations to potentially withhold federal funding from universities with antisemitic protests.

During a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the fiscal year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) pressed Cardona on the application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in federally funded programs and activities.

Asserting that “no student should feel unsafe on campus,” Sen. Capito cited recent incidents at Columbia University, where classes moved online due to safety concerns for Jewish students.

“This is completely unacceptable. Secretary Cardona, do you believe that what is happening to Jewish students at Columbia and other colleges across the country is acceptable?” Sen. Capito demanded.

“Absolutely not. I find the situation on our campuses abhorrent,” Cardona responded. “Hate has no place on our campuses. I am deeply concerned about reports of antisemitism and have spoken with Jewish students who fear attending classes due to harassment. This is unacceptable, and the Department of Education is committed to enforcing Title VI.”

Cardona noted that the Department of Education has 137 open cases related to possible Title VI violations, including incidents at Columbia University, and emphasized efforts to increase investigators to expedite ongoing investigations. He reiterated that schools refusing to comply with Title VI could face federal funding cuts.