Groups Pass On Cardona Meeting

Several prominent Jewish organizations made a surprising decision on Friday, abruptly pulling out of a scheduled meeting with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. The meeting, which was meant to address the rise of antisemitism in the United States, was boycotted by at least five Jewish groups.

The organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federations of North America, and Hillel International, made their decision after learning that several left-wing groups would be attending, including the Jewish activist organization, IfNotNow.

IfNotNow has been known to have a strong anti-Israel stance, accusing the country of having an “apartheid system” and supporting the violent Palestinian protests at college campuses. Their presence at the meeting caused concern for the boycotting organizations, who believed that their inclusion would not be productive in finding solutions for the rise of antisemitism in the country.

In addition to IfNotNow, the inclusion of other progressive groups such as T’ruah, the Nexus Leadership Project, and Bend the Arc also raised concerns for Jewish organizations. These groups are known to oppose the use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

According to reports, the decision to boycott the meeting was made just minutes before it was scheduled to take place. The organizations claimed that they were only informed of the inclusion of the progressive groups 20 minutes before the meeting was set to begin. As a result, Cardona was forced to give the presentation twice to accommodate the withdrawal of these organizations.

In an email obtained by Jewish Insider, the organizations stated their intention to discuss concrete actions that the Department of Education can take to address the current climate of antisemitism on college campuses. They also raised the need for protecting Jewish students and giving them more rights in the face of harassment and violence from pro-terrorism groups.

In their joint statement, the boycotting organizations expressed their disappointment at the lack of effective response to the rise of antisemitism on college campuses. They also urged the Biden Administration to provide universities with a clear path to enforcing the statement made by President Biden earlier this week condemning acts of antisemitism.

The meeting was intended to be a productive discussion on finding solutions to combat antisemitism, but the unexpected inclusion of certain organizations caused a rift among the participating groups. While the decision to boycott the meeting was made in the interest of standing against antisemitism and protecting Jewish students, it also highlights the divide between progressive and more conservative Jewish organizations.

The Biden Administration has yet to comment on the withdrawal of the Jewish organizations from the meeting. However, this incident serves as a reminder of the importance of inclusivity and finding common ground in addressing pressing issues such as rising antisemitism. It also highlights the need for effective and decisive action from the government to protect all students from discrimination and harassment on college campuses.


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