The Zionist Organization of America (
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan dated February 4, 2010, Senator Specter wrote, There has been some concern that the OCR may be not enforcing Title VI when Jewish students complain of discrimination, on the theory that such discrimination may be grounded solely in religion and not race, color, or national origin. The Senator requested clarification of the OCRs policy for enforcing Title VI. He asked Secretary Duncan to verify that the OCR interprets Title VI to protect to [sic] Jewish students from anti-Semitic discrimination. The Senator also called on Secretary Duncan to confirm that the OCR actively enforces the provisions of Title VI against colleges and universities that allow anti-Semitic discrimination.
In a handwritten note on the letter, Senator Specter added, I hope we can agree the statute [Title VI] covers Jewish students without additional legislation. (To read the Senators letter, click here.)
Senator Specters call for OCR to actively enforce Title VI to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism is exactly what the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended when it examined the problem of campus anti-Semitism in 2005. The Commission recognized that the problem is serious, and that among the ways it is being expressed is through the dissemination of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel propaganda that goes beyond legitimate discourse about foreign policy. Condemning such conduct, the Commission stated, Anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.