Orthodox rabbis demand US universities abandon diversity efforts
The managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents more than 2,000 Orthodox rabbis, told Fox News that US universities should end diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts over anti-Semitism concerns.
Speaking on Monday, the coalition’s representative, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, likened current programs to appointing “foxes to guard the proverbial hen house” after a report claimed DEI leaders often promote anti-Semitism.
“With anti-Semitic incidents rising at an alarming rate, using Israel as a convenient facade, universities must ensure their diversity efforts include protection of Jewish students,” Menken said, calling on US universities to immediately “suspend all DEI programs.”
Menken acknowledged DEI schemes are seeking to achieve a “noble goal” but backed a “comprehensive review” into them because, right now, those leading them are “harboring what should be obvious disqualifying biases.”
CJV’s request comes after a study by the Heritage Foundation stated that DEI staff at US universities “express anti-Israel attitudes that are so out of proportion and imbalanced as to constitute antisemitism.”
The Heritage Foundation report conducted an investigation into the Twitter feeds of nearly 750 DEI staff members across 65 universities, comparing their comments and treatment of Israel to China. 96% of the tweets shared about Israel were found to be critical, while 62% of tweets about China were supportive of the Asian nation.
“The overwhelming pattern is that DEI staff at universities pay a disproportionately high amount of attention to Israel and nearly always attack Israel,” the report argued.
While the Heritage Foundation study accepted that “criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic,” it argued that the “inordinate amount of attention given to Israel” is a “central feature of a widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism.”