Four people were killed in New Jersey in an anti-Semitic attack on a kosher market December 10.
The same day, President Trump issued an executive order expanding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to protect Jewish students on U.S. college campuses who are increasingly facing strident anti-Semitism.
The attack in Jersey City began at a cemetery where veteran police detective Joe Seal noticed a U-Haul van parked near a kosher market. Seals, a father of five, realized the van was connected to a recent murder in the area. He was shot dead by those inside the van, identified at press time only as a man and a woman.
Surveillance footage shows the van then proceeded to deliberately drive to the Jewish market, which the driver and passenger entered guns firing. A live pipe bomb was later found in the van.
Although police have not released the names of the perpetrators, both of whom were killed in the hours-long gun battle that ensued with the police and FBI agents who were called in for backup, investigators say that based on the footage, the target was chosen intentionally.
Since the attack, investigators found an anti-Semitic and anti-police manifesto published online by one of the perpetrators.
Jersey City’s mayor, Steven Fulop, also deemed the shooting an anti-Semitic attack.
In addition to Detective Seal, three people in the kosher store were killed. Two other police officers were wounded in the gun battle. Both officers were treated at a hospital and released.
On the same day of the attack, President Trump issued an executive order expanding the purview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to include Jews. Title VI bans discrimination on the basis of “race, color, or national origin.”
The move comes at a time when Jewish students on U.S. college campuses are facing widespread anti-Semitism — and violence, at times — due to extreme actions being taken by supporters of the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement against the state of Israel.
According to the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the U.S. State Department and 31 other countries, the BDS movement is anti-Semitic because it hold Israel to a different standard than that required of other countries.
The move to expand Title VI was first undertaken by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration in 2010. At that time, the federal government began to interpret Title VI to cover religious groups.
Critics of Trump accused him of anti-Semitism in enacting the executive order after a New York Times tweet falsely said the move meant that Trump was now defining Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion.
President Trump will sign an executive order defining Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion, thus bolstering the Education Department’s efforts to stamp out “Boycott Israel” movements on college campuses https://t.co/0avw7eseMc
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) December 10, 2019
This is the same kind of shit that Nazis did.
Judaism isn’t a nationality.
It’s not an ethnicity, either.
This EO is the stuff of every anti-Semitic rant about how Jewish people are outsiders and interlopers. https://t.co/QVG2eYfPeR
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 11, 2019