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Trump Signs Controversial Executive Order Cracking Down on BDS Movement

HeadlineDec 12, 2019

President Trump signed a highly controversial executive order Wednesday aimed at cracking down on the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS. The global nonviolent movement seeks to pressure the Israeli government over its treatment of Palestinians. Trump’s executive order will direct federal agencies to adopt a new definition of anti-Semitism to include criticisms of Israel, and then to penalize college campuses and universities that allow for conversations and debate about the Israeli government. Many prominent American Jewish groups oppose the executive order, even though it claims to protect Jews amid rising anti-Semitism worldwide. The Jewish group J Street said the order is designed to have a “chilling effect on free speech.” Other Jewish groups said Trump himself has fostered anti-Semitism and frequently repeated anti-Semitic tropes, and that this executive order is more about the administration’s support for Israel than to protect American Jews.

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