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February 9, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 9, 2018 PAGE 7A Kenneth Marcus By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--If there's overlap between Hil- lel and the National Council of Jewish Women, it's in two areas: defending Israel and combating violence against women on campus. Leaders of the campus Jew- ish organization took a look at the record of Kenneth Marcus, President Donald Trump's nominee to run civil rights at the Department of Education, and liked what they saw. NCJW leaders decidedly did not. Now the groups are on the opposite sides of a nomination that has set off a quiet intra- Jewish argument over what matters more: the hostilities that some Jewish students on campuses say they face for their pro-Israel activity, or the Trump administration rollbacks of Obama-era pro- tections for female students who allege sexual harassment. Kenneth Marcus, the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, has been at the forefront of efforts to counter pro-BDS activity on campus. He led efforts to get states and federal governments and universities to recognize a definition of anti-Semitism that includes hostility toward Israel. "Hillel has worked closely with Kenneth Marcus on is- sues related to anti-Semitic activity and anti-Israel activ- ity on college campuses," Hillel International said in a statement to JTA. "He has been an excellent partner and collaborative leader on these issues of critical importance to Jewish students. In our experience, he has been a sup- porter of Hillel's pluralistic, inclusive values and a leader in fighting discrimination in an analytical and impartial manner" Hillel would not address assaulting nearly 200 women harassedher;Hillelcutoffthe The committee approved Marcus' views on federal inhiscare, donor. In 2016, it suspended a Marcus on party lines, andhe policyandsexuai harassment. Also Opposing the Marcus U.S. tour by Israeli author Ari is likely to be approved by the Marcus endorses the decision nomination is JewishWomen Shavit when he was accused fullSenate, alsoonpartylines. by Education Secretary Betsy International, which has de- of sexual assault. TheAmericanJewishCom- DeVos to remove the Obama- veloped programsin partner- Announcing a review last mittee also has recommended era guidelines that advocates ship with Jewish fraternities month aimed at enhancing Marcus, despite whatever dif- saidmadeiteasierforvictims and sororities to counter its sexual harassment and ferences it may have with him to levelsexual assault charges sexual assault on campus, assault policies, the group said on an array of other issues. Its on campus. The guidelines "We are deeply concerned that"Hillel has long stood up general counsel, Marc Stern, discouraged universities from by the answers given during against rape culture on cam- said in an interview that even allowing an alleged assaulter his confirmation hearing last pus, partnering with It's On if Marcus' pro-Israel record to directly cross-examine his week.suppQrting Secretary Us nationally, and supporting didnot come. up in the hear- accuser, anddiscouragedwhat DeVos' rescission of impor- students through incidents ing, it has become enough until then was the common tant guidance clarifying the of sexual harassment and of an issue--The New York practice of requiring that responsibilitiesofcollegesand assault." Times made pro-Palestinian the accused and the accuser universities in cases of sexual It's On Us, a national cam- opposition to Marcus a focus first attempt to resolve the assault," Jewish Women Inter- paign combating campus of a story on his nomina- issue face to face or through national said in a statement sexual assault, ran an ad tion--that it is incumbent mediation, last month, that featured former Vice on pro-Israel groups to rally As leverage, the Obama "It isverytroubling that he President Joe Biden speaking to his defense. administration made thewillnotcommittocontinuing out against DeVos' proposed "It's our perception that rules under Title IX, Mawthat to publish the list of colleges changes, this has become a fight over prohibits federal funding for and universities currently In fact, most of the Demo- Israel,'Sternsaid."Ifyoutake schooisthatailowdiscrimina- under investigation regarding cratic opposition to Marcus the view that Israel criticism tion against women, sexual assault," the statement was focused on the sexual issometimesanti-Semiticand Feminists said that before said. "These actions demon- assault issue. Some pro-Pal- that'sdisqualifying, pro-Israel the Obama guidelines, the stratealackofcommitmentto estinian groups have made an groups have a hard interest in process revictimized assault protecting students from sex issue of his anti-BDS activity, seeing that it is not disquali- victims. DeVos has said that discrimination as is required but the issue did not come fying." Obama's rules instead made under Title IX of the Educa- up once in hours of hearings AJC's endorsement of Mar- victims of the accused,tionAmendments of 1972, as on Dec. 5. The Health and cus came in the wake of op- That was the nominationwell as turn back the clock on Education Committee's chair- position to the nomination by killerfor theNCJW, saidFaith the advances made during man, Sen. Lamar Alexander, an umbrella body AJC helped Williams, the group's senior the previous administration R-Tenn did read from a letter found, the Leadership Con- legislative associate, to ensure greater transpar- from Hillei endorsing Marcus ference on Civil and Human "In light of growing num- ency and accountability on at the hearing's outset. Rights. Among its objections bet of#MeToo moments and this issue." Among the other issues to Marcus, the Leadership the scandalatMichigan State Hillel has been at the fore- raised by Democrats were Conference included an allu- University, weneedtheseTitle front within the community Marcus' view that the depart- sion to his anti-BDS activism, IX protections," she said, of advancing protections for ment should only target bias which civil libertarians say referring to the explosion of women on campuses. The whenintentisinevidence, and infringes on free speech. sexual assault allegations by group recently made head- his past comments opposing Rabbi Abraham Cooper, womenandtherecentconvic- lines when it backeda Hillel LGBTQ rights. (He said he the associate dean of the tionofasportstherapistatthe director in Portland, Oregon, has "evolved" on the LGBTQ universitywhowasaccusedof whoreportedthatadonorhad issue.) Nominee on page 15A i