This piece originally appeared in The New York Times.

To the Editor:

Re “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case in New Tack on Antisemitism” (front page, Sept. 12):

Assistant Secretary of Education Kenneth L. Marcus has taken action that you say “put the weight of the federal government” behind a definition of antisemitism. It is known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism, and 14 years ago, the American Jewish Committee played a role in drafting it.

The definition offers a clear and comprehensive description of antisemitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, of particular note, antisemitism as it can at times relate to Israel.

The American Jewish Committee considers the working definition a powerful tool for determining issues arising out of Title VI, prohibiting discrimination, and creating a welcoming educational environment for all students.

We welcome the decision to use this definition, which recognizes that some anti-Israel conduct crosses the line into antisemitism and is one of several factors that may be considered in determining if an act was antisemitic.

Our organization appreciates the Rutgers University administration’s commitment to cooperate with any review of this case by the Education Department. As a public university with one of the largest Jewish student bodies in the country, Rutgers can be a model for fighting campus antisemitism.

(Rabbi) David C. Levy
Milburn, N.J.
The writer is New Jersey regional director for the American Jewish Committee.

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