On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order at the White House targeting anti-Semitism on college campuses. The measure will help protect Jewish students under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by permitting the Department of Education to withhold funding from schools it believes are failing to tamp down on anti-Semitic hate speech. Contrary to many initial outraged reports, the order does not redefine Judaism as a nationality.
"It shall be the policy of the executive branch to enforce Title VI against prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in anti-Semitism as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI," the administration explains.
It wasn't Trump's only nod to Israel this week. On Saturday, Trump gave a speech at the Israeli American Council in Hollywood, Florida highlighting the important relationship between the U.S. and Israel. At one point he invited Israel's Shalva Band, a prominent band that consists of special needs individuals, to take the stage to perform “God Bless America." When the musicians finished the song and put down their instruments, they rushed over to give the president a hug. He embraced them right back and the heartwarming moment went viral on Twitter.
But, instead of covering the uplifting moment, the media was more interested in turning his speech into a controversy. Jewish groups like the American Jewish Committee tweeted at Trump that although they “appreciate" his "unwavering support" for Israel, "surely there must be a better way to appeal to American Jewish voters, as you just did in Florida, than by money references that feed age-old and ugly stereotypes.”
As a Washington Post opinion piece noted, “Trump accused of ‘dipping into a deep well of anti-Semitic tropes’ during speech to Jewish voters.” Vanity Fair wrote that Trump went "Full Anti-Semite."
Quite a few people noted the disconnect.
This is the man the Left decries as a hateful anti-Semitic bigot. pic.twitter.com/gcRwk7MKLn— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) December 9, 2019
Consider a few of his other actions since stepping into the Oval Office. After years of empty promises from U.S. presidents that they'd move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump delivered. He officially updated the address in May 2018. He did something else that leaders have failed to do for over 50 years - he recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He also terminated the Iran nuclear deal. And, led by former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, the administration has consistently defended Israel's interests while the international body repeatedly introduces anti-Israel resolutions.
Even when the media does acknowledge Trump's pro-Israel agenda, there are still some caveats. "Trump's expected executive order on campus anti-Semitism draws praise and concern," is how the WaPo chose to cover it on Wednesday.