Jewish trial lawyers target critical racial theory with new initiative

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) holds a book titled Critical Race Theory as he speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her appointment as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court speaks at the Hart Senate office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC March 22, 2022. The CRT is alleged to have attacked Zionism and the State of Israel. SAUL LOEB/JNS

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to guests at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting November 19, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. DeSantis has been a vocal critic of Critical Race Theory, where he has banned the school from teaching it in his home state. SCOTT OLSON/JNS

A public interest law firm focused on protecting Jewish civil rights has targeted the Critical Race Theory. The Deborah Project (TDP), a public interest law firm dedicated to protecting Jewish civil rights in the American education system since 2016, recently announced that it will be hiring additional litigation attorneys thanks to a generous donation.

“As a result of a generous grant from a private foundation, TDP is expanding its reach and hiring additional attorneys to bring this fight to more courtrooms,” said TDP’s Legal Director Lori Lowenthal Marcus.

“We have filed a legal challenge in federal court in California against Liberated Ethnic Studies, which fully adopts Critical Race Theory’s attacks on Zionism, whose goal is to teach all American public school children the duck that such attacks are not anti-Semitic because “Zionism and Judaism are two different things”. As a result of this very generous gift, we are now hiring additional trial attorneys to help us dramatically expand this fight,” she said.


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TDP was founded by a Harvard Law School professor Jesse M Fried and provides free legal aid to Jewish or pro-Israel individuals who face discrimination in educational institutions.

“Zionism has long been demonized by the far left – at least since the 1975 UN resolution “Zionism is Racism” and then through the festival of anti-Semitism at the Durban conference in 2001 [Durban I]’ Marcus continued.

“These attacks have wormed their way into the mainstream of US racial talk through the Critical Race Theory, which denounces the establishment of the State of Israel as an exercise in land grabbing by white colonialists and the actions of the Jewish state in defense of all its citizens – Muslims and Christians as much as Jews – as nothing more than genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Now, under the guise of ‘anti-racism’, these slanderous attacks on Jewish commitment to Zion are being planted in the public school curriculum through the vehicles of Liberated or Critical Ethnic Studies.”

“Though the flames of anti-Semitism continue to be fanned, most American Jews thought this was a hatred they and their children would be spared,” she said. “But as the critical race theory and even physically violent attacks on them spread, Jews are slowly awakening to the need not only to complain about it, but these efforts to instill hatred in children and oppose the existence of a sovereign Jewish state in the country , to defeat of Israel. [We have] has been hearing cases since 2016 questioning efforts by Israel’s enemies to inculcate hatred of the Jewish yearning for national liberation in American education.”

In light of the new grant, TDP is establishing a new legal defense fund modeled on other successful civil rights law firms dedicated to protecting minority rights.

“Our model for TDP is the NAACP Legal Defense Fund,” said TDP President Jerome Marcus. “Lead by Thurgood Marshall and other brilliant and deeply committed lawyers, these people worked for many decades on a well thought out and carefully executed plan to use the Constitution’s grant of equal protections to secure civil rights for their constituency.

“American civil rights laws have long been used by other minorities, and the American Jewish community has been very active in supporting these campaigns. But with rare exceptions, the Jewish community here has not used these laws to protect themselves. With this grant, we can begin to make TDP a civil rights law firm for American Jews.”

As Gov. Ron DeSantis targets “trending ideologies” in higher education, his administration is asking state colleges and universities for information about resources they use in activities related to diversity, justice and inclusion, and critical race theory.

DeSantis has made fighting critical race theory — which is based on the premise that racism is embedded in American institutions — a lynchpin of his education and political agenda.


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Marcus went on to describe how anti-Jewish attacks on college campuses have increased due to the spread of critical race theory.

DeSantis has repeatedly clashed with Democratic lawmakers and unions representing professors and teachers over its educational initiatives.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) holds a book titled “Critical Race Theory” as he speaks during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her appointment as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 22, 2022. CRT is alleged to have attacked Zionism and the State of Israel. SAUL LOEB/JNS

Marcus said that “the emergence of critical race theory and its use against Jewish commitment to Zionism must be a wake-up call for American Jews who need to understand the need to protect themselves – and especially their children – from the use of this ideology in public schools and elsewhere because it teaches hatred of Jews and incites violence.”

Proponents of the Critical Race’s attack on Israel point to American Jews denouncing Israel to support their claim that Zionism is entirely separate from Judaism. Therefore, they emphasize, it is within the realm of civilized debate and not anti-Semitic to want the destruction of the Jewish state and to proclaim that the Jews’ commitment to that state is not an expression of religious belief but is itself an act of racism.

“These attacks are aimed at ignorance of the substance of Judaism – its books, its calendar and its customs,” Marcus said. “Everything from our daily prayers to our breaking of a glass at the end of Jewish weddings is intimately connected to the Jewish longing for Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Therefore, attacks on the idea of ​​Zionism are attacks on the genuine religious beliefs of the Jews. And publicly funded attacks on genuinely held religious beliefs, such as publicly funded attacks on Jewish ethnicity and Israeli nationals, and such as attacks on Black, Hispanic, Asian or other ethnic minorities, violate the law with the utmost vigor.”

Marcus said the grant will also allow the nonprofit public interest law firm to build the infrastructure it needs to protect Jewish civil rights.

“One of the tools often used by the enemies of Zionism is camouflage,” she said. “They instruct public school teachers who teach students to hate Israel to do so ‘under the radar’ and ‘behind closed doors’ so that parents and school administrators cannot find out what is happening. We are now able to flush out and expose the malicious anti-Semitic material these people are sneaking into public schools. And when Jewish parents and other Jews see what is being done, they will stand up and we will prevail. Because we have to.”

Senator Ted Cruz quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of a world where children would be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by their character” — before sharply questioning Judge Jackson on her views on critical race theory.

He held up two books by Ibram X. Kendi, which he said had been assigned or recommended at a school where she serves on the board of trustees, and described their content as “the complete opposite” of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream”. Speech.

“Are you comfortable,” he asked, “with these ideas being taught to children?”

It was a salvo aimed squarely at today’s fierce struggles over critical race theory, a once obscure academic discipline that has blossomed into a powerful political weapon for the right. Off the Senate floor too the report The Trump administration’s 1776 commission presented it as the antithesis of the color-blind America that Dr. King according to which supposedly wanted to create New York Times.

Produced in collaboration with Jewish News Syndicate.

(Additional reporting by Alberto Arellano)

The Western Journal did not review this story prior to publication. As such, it may not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided as a service to our readers by The Western Journal.

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