A Columbia task force set to combat antisemitism won’t define antisemitism

A Columbia University task force created to combat antisemitism on campus is having trouble defining antisemitism. 

Members of the group have refused to define what antisemitism is, with two competing groups pushing different definitions. The task force was created to address “the harmful impact of rising antisemitism on Columbia’s Jewish community and to ensure that protection, respect, and belonging extends to everyone” in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

The first definition being discussed is what the State Department prefers and what supporters of Israel refer to, which says targeting Israel could be seen as antisemitic. The second definition is more narrowly defined, creating a difference between anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish sentiments. 

“If you don’t diagnose the problem, you don’t have to deal with it,” said Shai Davidai, a Columbia professor who
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