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Kenneth Marcus

Kenneth Marcus’ ideological alignment with Trump

Rahul Saksena on

At a time when bigotry and harassment targeting marginalized students is on the rise, students need and deserve a civil rights champion in the DOE. Palestine Legal’s Rahul Saksena says Kenneth Marcus is not that person.

Trump nominee Kenneth Marcus seeks to undermine the very rights he’d be enforcing

Nada Elia and Cynthia Franklin on

Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s nominee to head the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, actively works to pass and enforce legislation that suppresses civil and human rights and criminalizes constitutionally protected free speech. His nomination points to the increasing convergences of white supremacy, fascism, and Zionism.

Trump nominee Kenneth Marcus has a career of trying to criminalize campus free speech

Ariel Gold on
Kenneth Marcus speaking in a video for the Brandeis Center for Human Rights.

Ariel Gold writes: American Jews generally take great pride in the support we have shown for civil rights and free speech. As such, we should be appalled at the nomination of Kenneth Marcus for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. His appointment will greatly damage free speech rights on campuses.

Anti-BDS crusader Kenneth Marcus named to top civil rights post in Trump administration

Jesse Rubin on

Kenneth Marcus heads a lawfare organization that targets the Boycott Israel movement on campus as allegedly anti-Semitic and thereby violating federal laws against racial discrimination. Last week he was named to the top civil rights job at the Dep’t of Education, stirring fears that he will attempt to silence advocates for Palestinians.

Provoked by BDS campaign, Trump administration says anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism

Philip Weiss and Donald Johnson on

The Department of Education’s new anti-Semitism standard that bars calling Israel a racist endeavor shows the sheer arrogance of the Trump-Netanyahu axis. They are going for broke. And the liberals who obsess about Putin’s supposed control seem unable to spot which groups really have influence on Trump.

Head of Israel lobby education group boasts of ‘fear’ political opponents feel

Alex Kane on

A mock separation wall put up by a Students for Justice in Palestine group at an Illinois college campus (Photo: Benchilada/Flickr) Who says the Israel lobby doesn’t like to operate out in the open? Well, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee official Steve Rosen does. But that message has not reached the head of a […]

Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s nominee for civil rights, has a long history of working against them

Abed A. Ayoub, Phillip Agnew and Harper Jean Tobin on

The Senate is about to consider President Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, Kenneth Marcus. He is unfit for the job, given his extensive history of targeting constitutionally protected speech, of hostility towards affirmative action and civil rights, of anti-LGBTQ positions, and of lobbying for discrimination in university funding based on political viewpoints.

Once again, ‘NYT’ says Judaism = Zionism

James North and Philip Weiss on

A theme of a New York Times article on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be civil rights director in the Education Department is that the BDS movement against Israel pits “Jews” on the nation’s campuses against “students of color.” But there are many Jews who support BDS, who are invisible here; while Zionism is conflated with Judaism.

House members are again pushing a bill that would censor Palestine advocacy on college campuses

Michael Arria on

Congress is trying to expand the federal definition of antisemitism for the third time. The legislation directs the Education Dep’t to use a standard for anti-Semitism written by a Holocaust-remembrance organization that includes some criticisms of Israel, including applying “double standards” to the country and claiming that the state is a racist endeavor.

Right-wing news outlets attack U. Mich’s divestment drive

Alex Kane on

Right-wing news outlets and Israel lobby groups have mounted a concerted campaign over the past few days to attack students leading the call for divestment at the University of Michigan (UM).  The vote on a resolution to divest from corporations complicit in the Israeli occupation failed two nights ago, but the smears have kept up. […]

California student groups blast ‘abuse’ of civil rights law to ‘silence’ Palestine solidarity in letter to civil rights commission

Alex Kane on

A mock separation wall put up by a Students for Justice in Palestine group at an Illinois college campus (Photo: Benchilada/Flickr) A group of Muslim and Palestine solidarity groups from California colleges have sent a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights ahead of a briefing tomorrow on federal civil rights engagement with Arab […]

The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs

Rebecca Pierce on

On March 19, Louis D. Brandeis Center President Kenneth Marcus keynoted a Washington DC panel organized by the hardline pro-Israel Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). It was titled “Politicizing Education: Title VI of the Higher Education Act.” Speaking from an ornate room in Washington DC’s Russell Senate Office Building, Marcus described the seminar as […]

Resisting ‘the new normal’

Nada Elia on

The nomination of Kenneth Marcus, President Trump’s choice for the position of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, will go to a vote next week, and he is expected to be shooed in, on a straight party line vote. If he is confirmed, he will likely become the latest member of a growing list of politicians threatening academic freedom generally, as well our civil rights as women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. Nada Elia writes, “As more faculty, and students, come under attack, it is imperative that we grow our support networks, and that we make it clear we are many, and will not be intimidated.”  

Rashida Tlaib, the expletive, and respectability politics

Nada Elia on

Rashida Tlaib has been getting criticized for calling Donald Trump a “motherfucker” but Nada Elia writes that she is thankful for Tlaib’s willingness to challenge the pressure to be civil: “I am thankful for her for breaking taboos, and having the courage to say what many think.  Let us remember what else she has spoken, which would be considered a “profanity” by her peers.  She said the hitherto unspeakable, about Palestine: one country, because separate but equal doesn’t work anywhere.”

Federal judge strikes down lawsuit targeting academic boycott of Israel

Nada Elia on

In a long-overdue defeat for the Louis D. Brandeis Center, a federal judge struck down a three-year old lawsuit against faculty members of the American Studies Association, which had voted overwhelmingly in favor of an academic boycott of Israel at its 2013 annual meeting. In a statement issued yesterday, Palestine Legal said, “this week’s court dismissal emphasizes that efforts to censor the boycott movement will fail.”   

BDS in Urbana-Champaign: A Response to Cary Nelson

David Green on

David Green responds to Cary Nelson’s talk in Israel which attacked the BDS movement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. In short, “The picture Nelson paints regarding pro-Palestinian activism on the UIUC campus is false.”

It’s Hanukkah, and what that means

Jonathan Ofir on

The Hanukkah story is also a religious-political one from its beginnings – and it still is. It poses the question of how we view religious fundamentalism and separation of church and state. We need no more proof than Sheldon Adelson’s aptly named Campus Maccabees crusading against the BDS movement by way of free trips to Israel.

The ethics of study abroad in Israel

David Lloyd on

David Lloyd says that the outrage that has greeted University of Michigan’s John Cheney-Lippold refusal to write a letter of reference for a student who wished to participate in a Study Abroad Program in Israel is astonishingly hypocritical. “No professor and no institution should engage in furthering programs that so systematically violate our long-cherished equal-opportunity and anti-discrimination policies, inscribed both in federal law and campus codes. US academics should do the right thing by following Professor Cheney-Lippold’s courageous example and refusing to participate in any institutional endorsement of study abroad in Israel,” Lloyd writes.

‘A Painful Price’: The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond

Max Blumenthal on

Following a week-long sit-in by the University of Michigan Students Allied For Equality (SAFE), an obstinate Central Student Government (CSG) council agreed to bring the group’s resolution on divesting from corporations involved in human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories to a vote. I appeared as SAFE’s guest speaker for the March 25 debate, […]

Dept of Education opens investigation into anti-Semitism at UC Santa Cruz following events protesting the occupation

Adam Horowitz on

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate charges of anti-Semitism at the University of California at Santa Cruz based on a complaint that the university ignored concerns that criticism of Israel was “creating a hostile climate for Jewish people on the campus.” You can […]