David Horowitz Freedom Center Threatens Pomona and Pitzer with Lawsuit Over Support For Anti-Semitis
On Feb. 3, Pitzer College and Pomona College became one of the first targets for enforcement of President Trump’s latest executive order taking name at discrimination on the basis of Jewish identity, specifically on college campuses. The David Horowitz Freedom Center (“DHFC”), a conservative foundation, addressed a letter to the presidents of the two colleges (Drs. Melvin Oliver and Gabrielle Starr, respectively), indicating its intent to pursue, through proper authorities, legal action against the Claremont Colleges for the Colleges’ lengthy history of “anti-Semitic activities.”
DHFC seeks the Colleges’ “prompt attention to this matter” and a response “no later than February 14th, 2020.” The DHFC letter asserts that the Claremont Colleges’ “promotion and funding of anti-Semitic speakers and events is a violation of federal law,” referring to Title VI. Within the letter, DHFC writes “Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance”—a group including the Claremont Colleges. DHFC continues, “[t]o combat the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses in the United States, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13899 … [directing] executive agencies to enforce Title VI against all prohibited forms of discrimination rooted in anti-Semitism just as vigorously as against all other forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI.”
As previously covered by the Independent and as described by DHFC, Pomona College recently funded a campus visit by 9/11 conspirator and anti-Semite Abby Martin. Additionally, Pomona intends to fund a speech by anti-Semite and alleged terrorist Angela Davis, an outspoken supporter of convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh, later this year. The letter also criticizes terrorist-linked “campus hate group Students for Justice in Palestine” for organizing many of these speaking events. Specifically noted in the letter to the colleges is SJP’s support for the BDS movement, the erection of a mock “apartheid wall” on campus and several other incidents the letter deems “anti-Semitic.”
This letter is not DHFC’s first attempt to prevent ongoing anti-Semitism at the Claremont Colleges. In December, the Foundation distributed pamphlets across Pitzer College’s campus issuing a message similar to that which they communicate now to Presidents Oliver and Starr. In response, Oliver refuted accusations of his financial support for anti-Semitic speakers without further specifying any details. Instead, Oliver simply suggested students “reach out to the Office of Student Affairs for … support services.”
At the end of last year, President Trump signed Executive Order 13899—cited by the letter sent by DHFC—categorizing Judaism as both a religion and a race/nationality, giving it protection under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Institutions that receive federal funding must comply with Title VI regulations or risk losing federal funds. President Trump’s order intended to curb antisemitic speech, especially on college campuses.
The DHFC is a controversial conservative foundation founded by David Horowitz; it runs several websites and blogs, including Jihad Watch.
The law firm representing DHFC also filed a lawsuit in 2018 against the University of California, Berkeley on behalf of Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans for “free speech” violations.
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