Reason Roundup

Everyone Is Confused About Trump's Executive Order on Judaism

Plus: the foundations bankrolling bad tech policy, they is the word of the year, and more...


A blow to anti-Semitism or a blow to free speech? On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order defining Judaism as a nationality. The report provoked a huge amount worry and confusion, of course, Holocaust comparisons. 

However, the draft text of the executive order does not define Judaism as a nationality, as the Times initially reported, and as this article originally stated. It turns out we were somewhat confused as well.*

The Trump order would effectively allow anti-Jewish discrimination to be covered under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in any organization or program that receives federal funding. 

Reports about the order generated heated debate and criticism.

"Remember that in Hitler's first written comment in 1919 on the so-called Jewish Question, he likewise defined the Jews as a race and not a religious community," tweeted Jon Cooper, chair of the Democratic Coalition. 

"Hitler kicked off the Holocaust with the Nuremberg Laws that, among other things, declared German Jews weren't of German nationality. So Trump signing an executive order declaring Judaism it's own nationality is….well not great for us descendants of Holocaust survivors," commented science journalist Erin Biba.

A number of people have pointed out that defining Judaism as a race or ethnicity rather than a religion is a plank white supremacists promote.

"Anti-semites like David Duke say Judaism is not a religion, but a nationality/race," in order "to advance formation of a white ethnocentric state" that excludes Jews, tweeted author Kurt Eichenwald. "Trump just affirmed this trope by executive order."

To be clear, Trump has not signed the order yet but is expected to on Wednesday.

Not all critics of the order went right to Hitler-level racist motives.

The New York Times article first reporting on it describes the Trump administration's move as one targeting anti-Israel boycotts and protest movements on college campuses. (For many in Trump's orbit, support for free speech on college campuses stops where criticism of Israel begins.) In this framing, Trump is actually acting in support of Jewish people, or at least in support of pro-Israel politics, but doing so as a way to harm Palestine or squelch pro-Palestinian speech.

"This is using Jews and Judaism as a shield to go after Palestinians and anti-authoritarian professors and student activists," tweeted activist Sophie Ellman-Golan.

"The main thing you need to know about Trump's executive order is that he is using Jews as fodder to go after the Palestine solidarity movement, which hurts both communities and helps billionaire donors and weapons manufacturers who don't want lasting peace & justice in the region," suggested organizer Rose Fasa.

Trump supporters claim the order is needed to protect Jewish college students in the U.S. from anti-Semitism.

But tying Judaism to Israel (and anti-Semitism to criticism of Israel) is something many American Jews reject, despite strong support for such intimate linkage in establishment and right-leaning political circles.

"If opposition starts & stops with the EO & doesn't extend to recognizing the fundamental error/danger in the equation that underlies it—the conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism—opposition to the EO is meaningless," said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

"The notion that Jewish students on college campuses are being "marginalized" [presumably by BDS resolutions?] and therefore need *the President of the United States* to intervene on their behalf by threatening to cut off federal funding to universities is an astounding position," tweeted Harry Reis, director of policy and strategy for the New Israel Fund. 

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, told the Times:

Israeli apartheid is a very hard product to sell in America, especially in progressive spaces, and realizing this, many Israeli apartheid apologists, Trump included, are looking to silence a debate they know they can't win.

Some see less cynical motives. Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, told the paper:

the fact of the matter is we see Jewish students on college campuses and Jewish people all over being marginalized. The rise of anti-Semitic incidents is not theoretical; it's empirical.

Greenblatt said he hopes the new Trump order would "be enforced in a fair manner."

If our experience with the Obama administration's expansion of Title IX (which governs sex and gender discrimination at educational institutions and is also tied to federal funding) has been any indication, expanding the power of the executive branch to micromanage school speech policies across the country—and impose huge sanctions on those in violation—only leads to a huge chilling of campus expression and activism across the board, and a lot of lives interrupted over administrators' "abundance of caution."

NEXT: Thank You to Every Single Person Who Donated to Reason’s 2019 Webathon!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Merriam-Webster dictionary’s 2019 Word of the Year is the gender-neutral and singular they.

    They is crazy.

    1. They is woke.

    2. Xie are so brave.

    3. “They is crazy.”

      They is gonna come on over there and kick your ass for sayin’ that!

    4. This that and THEY other.

    5. Screw they and the horse they rode in on.

    6. They Live

      1. Fun movie.

        1. “I’m here to chew gum and kick ass. And I’m all out of gum.”

      2. grammatically, I guess the title should now be changed to “They Lives”

    7. Hello.

      Well. From where I sit, there is indeed a rise in anti-semitism. Europe is clearly getting reacquainted with it (they’re about due for a good pogrom) and the BDS movement is something to watch closely.

      Just look at Corbyn’s Labour party for the love of God.

      1. There was an excellent article the other day that went over the increasing anti-semitism in Europe and other places all over the world. Basically, if you aren’t in Israel or North America and you’re a Jew, you should probably be getting nervous. Some french judge last week just decided a muslim extremist who had broken into a Jewish woman’s house and had tortured her for two hours before killing her (while the cops waited outside “for backup”) couldn’t be tried for murder because he had been high on weed, and thus wasn’t in control of his actions.

        1. Religious Refer Madness?

    8. They said you was hung!

      1. And they was right.

    9. Damn, my money on Word of the Year was on “Epstein”.

      Epstein: (noun) An unusually small penis.
      Synonyms: Micropenis, baby dick, not hung.

      1. Epstein didn’t kill himself.

    10. They need they’re head examined.

    11. Who you calling “They”?

    12. Judaism is more than a religion. It IS a nationality. And Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

      Jews can be Jewish-Americans the same way people of Italian descent can be Italian- Americans.

  2. Remember that in Hitler’s first written comment in 1919 on the so-called Jewish Question, he likewise defined the Jews as a race and not a religious community…

    You know who else offered Jews Title VI protections?

    1. Not Don Rickles?

      1. Sammy Davis, Jr.?

        1. One of my heroes.

          Sammy had a tough life. In the early days he had to enter from the back door in the Vegas showplaces.

          I got to meet him. I was just a young man. He would stay after the show. What a mensch he was. Such a nice good hearted person.

          His story is the American history of a generation.

          Nobody here is likely interested.

          I learned from him some things.

          Always work hard at what you do.

          Do not let anyone stop you.

          People will try to deride you and define you. Just keep going.

          Thanks to Mr. Bojangles z”l

          1. And the guy was also killer swing jazz drummer.

            Won’t post it here but it can be found.

    2. Hollywood?

    3. Yahweh. (But just so you know, it’s usually referred to as The Book of Joshua, not Title VI.)

    4. King Cyrus of Persia?

  3. So Trump signing an executive order declaring Judaism it’s own nationality is….well not great for us descendants of Holocaust survivors,” commented science journalist Erin Biba.

    Obviously not a grammar journalist.

    1. ENB seems to be trying to see how to introduce the anti-semitism that is fashionable on the left into the pages of Reason.

      1. Not seems. But it is unseemly.

  4. New Statue Unveiled In Response To Richmond’s Confederate Monuments

    But will reason staff complain when THESE “historical statutes” are pulled down?

    1. Lol, this sculpture of a random non-existent person is depicted as wearing a hoodie and nikes. That’s hilarious and not in a “wow, that’s so powerful, good for you” kind of way.

      Couldn’t they have found a real person to actually memorialize? A key figure for the black community that actually made a positive impact, resisted the confederacy or actually did anything of note?

      1. If Democrats are not going to give Black Americans the tools in schools to get a jump on adulthood, why give them a Black American hero?

    2. The statue called Rumors of War was built by Kehinde Wiley, widely known for painting the official portrait of President Barack Obama.
      Ah, yes. “Sparks in the Garden”

    3. In 2018, protesters tore down a Confederate monument known as Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Activists’ celebrations turned into outrage when they found out the university was paying the state chapter of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans $2.5 million to preserve it.

      What is the difference between “protestors”, “activists”, and “vandals”?

      1. Many of the historical markers and statutes were taken down at night, so that sounds pretty underhanded to me.

        I live in Georgia and Lefties are not taking down Stone Mountain anytime soon. Even funnier is that Black, White, Asian… families come to watch the laser show.

      2. Generally speaking? Whether the speaker approves of them.

    4. This story is literally “too local” to expect Reason to cover it.

    1. An actual case of human trafficking.
      Perpetrated by government.
      How surprising.

  5. Jews are a Nationality or Race is said by 80% of American Jews, who are irreligious
    Its an argument that suits the Left when convenient to them.

    Next, we’ll hear that Hitler also wanted investigations in Ukraine

    1. Well said.

    2. The fact that anyone can become a Jew by converting to Judaism means that being Jewish is NOT a race.

      Nobody wants to be called Semitic anymore.

      But if you’re labeled “anti-semitic” look out!

      1. Judaism is a religion that anyone can join while there is an actual race of Jews.

        Just saying

        1. that said i don’t think this is a needed law and should not be signed

        2. There is theoretically a race of Jews but not sure how you classify people inside and outside of that race.

          If there is such a race that can be defined, I would living all over the World among other races for thousands of years has diluted that race a bit.

          The race of Asian peoples is very distinct from the Black race of peoples.

          1. Semitic peoples include race of Hebrews, Palestians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Akkadians, and Arabs.

          2. Ashkenazi Jew is a category from a DNA testing site such as

            1. I never heard that before.

              Looks like it means Jewish peoples that migrated from Slavic lands into the Rhineland and neighboring Eastern France.

          3. For orthodox and conservative Jews, it is determined by matrilineal descent. For Reform Jews, the rules are looser.

        3. Its more complicated than that. I had a friend who considered himself an ethnic Jew (nonreligious) however his “Jewishness” came from the fact that his great grandparents were both converts

          1. Funny.
            I consider myself an “ethnic catholic”

  6. …Trump is actually acting in support of Jewish people, or at least in support of pro-Israel politics, but doing so as a way to harm Palestine or squelch pro-Palestinian speech.

    Is there any other way to support the Jews than to stick it to the pro-Palestinian crowd? Or vice versa?

    1. Let’s see…

      Helping a Jewish grandmother cross the street instead of letting her get run over….Offensive to Palestinians

      Listening to a Jewish person talk instead of screaming and calling them Satan… Squelches Palestinian speech

      Not giving Israel’s enemies oodles of cash… Harms Palestinians

      Nope, nothing comes to mind

      1. They spin and spin and spin it’s a marvel they even can function without getting vertigo.

        They believe in 1001 tales.

        I use Occam’s Razor: Israel succeeds in a sea of violent madness swarmed by people who hate them and want to ‘throw them into the sea’.

        The Arab world despite all the oil, population and geographic edge are shit holes. Blame ‘da Joos’ all you want but time for that mirror to reflect a little. Not only that, one need only ask if Palestinians are so important to the Arab identity why then don’t the Arabs step up and help them? Oh right. Jordan and Lebanon tried and quickly regretted it. Easier to blame the Jews.

    2. The enemy of my enemy MUST be my friend!

      The friend of my enemy MUST be my enemy!

      Fucking tribalism!!! What, the whole human race is still barely into high school, or what?!?!

      1. You only hate tribalism because you havent found a tribe of shit eaters to join.

          The Priceless Benefits of Not Belonging

          I say again… Fuck tribalism! It’s a big root of stupid, evil wars!

          I prefer text, but here’s video (above). It has subtitles, so you can jump and skim…

          1. Nobody’s gonna click on a link with video of people eating shit.

            1. You conservatards are SUCH sophisticated eggheads!

              AND roll-on-the-floor FUNNY! (For 5-years-olds at least).

              1. 1. I’m a libertarian, not a conservative.
                2. You’re jokes aren’t funny on any level.

    3. “Jewish” is not a nationality or a race, we should just call them what they are. Palestinians.

      1. Being an American include every race in the book.

        Why that cannot work for people of Palestine or Semitic peoples is part of the problem. Their beefs are too old.

  7. Progressive groups unhappy with articles of impeachment

    Whomever on here guessed that Pelosi was doing just enough to not get kicked out of the Speaker spot, looks to be correct. The lunatics are still…well…being lunatics.

  8. Small group of Democrats floats censure instead of impeachment

    Uh-oh, not enough Democrat votes to even get articles of Impeachment passed?

    Those Democrats, nearly all representing districts that Trump won in 2016, huddled on Monday afternoon in an 11th-hour bid to weigh additional — though unlikely — options to punish the president for his role in the Ukraine scandal as the House speeds toward an impeachment vote next week.

    The group of about 10 lawmakers included Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah.).

    1. Censure would be the smart move. But Democratic leadership haven’t been displaying a propensity for making smart moves.

      1. For once, I tend to agree with you. Regardless of if Trump is guilty of anything, censure is the most palatable solution. It allows the Democrats to emote their dissatisfaction without actually slashing and burning their own constituency.

        I may, or may not, think such a move is warranted but at least it doesn’t overturn an election on questionable grounds.

        That said, Democrats have made a particular bed and it’s far too late for them to escape it. There’s little chance of a reasonable resolution at this point.

  9. Biden signals to aides that he would serve only a single term

    Yeah, Hillary staffers were not prepared for ZERO TERMS either.

    1. Just think how senile he will be in 5 years.

      1. Look, fat.

    2. He is running as a lame duck? Wtf.

      1. James Polk managed to accomplish quite a bit as a lame duck, but the effort did ultimately kill him.

  10. Kentucky is restoring voting rights to more than 100,000 people denied them due to a past felony conviction.

    They’ll just vote to keep the same legislators that criminalize everything anyway.

    1. They apparently ran up the aisle in a mask and bandanna, then stripped everything off by the time police arrived. Seems fitting thing is to refund their tickets, insist that they leave. If they reach for a duffel full of scare costume before they leave, send them back to their parents for an ass-whuppin. Snowflakes gonna snowflake, but if they try this in a real movie they are going to get their asses shot off.

      1. Uh, you cannot just shoot people for wearing bandanas and running around, interrupting a movie.

        People are free to get a refund but police getting involved is an over-reactions unless the “gangstas” refuse to leave after being asked to do so by movie staff.

  11. Vape sales can resume in Massachusetts.

    Don’t get used to it.

  12. Netflix says more than 26 million watched ‘The Irishman’ in 7 days

    Poor Martin Scorsese. He just cannot pull in the audiences with stuff like this that he calls “not cinema”. Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain. Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.

    1. <em<In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.

      Statement of fact.

      1. Failure of tags

      2. Have you seen Green Hornet. That risk failed miserably.

        1. Green Hornet was limited by not being a superhero

      3. Bullshit, every time they pull on the tights they risk their dignity.

        1. I chuckled at this.

    2. Nothing at risk except the fate of the universe.

      If anything, these movies are so high-stakes as to make ordinary challenges people face seem…ordinary.

      1. I don’t think you understand what is meant by ‘risk’.

        In the context of super hero movies, you know that even if they die they’ll just be resurrected or replaced 9 out of 10 times so any ‘risks’ they might face are minor ones even if ‘the entire known universe’ is in danger of destruction.

        For example, everyone knew that the second installment of the Avengers capstone film was going to bring back virtually all of the ‘dead’ people Thanos created. There was a 0% chance the ending of the first installment was going to stand as-is.

        Compare to, say, Ocean’s 11 where there is doubt that the main characters will escape or even survive.

        That’s what we mean by ‘risk’.

        1. OK, I may have read “high stakes” in the wrong way.

          Now, if we want to use “high stakes” to mean “we really don’t know if the protagonists will survive,” then I give you…the American horror genre. Those movies could kill off *anyone* – starting with the supporting characters and ending with the protagonists (and sometimes the movie doesn’t even spare the human race).

          1. It’s true that horror has pretty high risk, and that’s exactly why people watch them. Without that risk, you can’t really have a horror movie.

  13. For many of those cases, officers never sought a warrant or any legal process at all.

    How could the Founders have no idea people would willingly give their DNA???

    1. Just arrest everyone and get it over with.

    2. I know, right? I mean that’s how babies get made.

  14. Kentucky is restoring voting rights to more than 100,000 people denied them due to a past felony conviction.

    Kentucky has 100,000 former felons walking the streets? Holy shit!

    1. I thought it would be way more.

      1. Wait until the media doesnt cover how many of those ex-cons never vote even with the voting right restored.

        1. I’m pretty sure they’re all going to be voting, whether they know it or not. Probably multiple times.

          1. ^This

          2. Oh yeah. It’s Election 2020 and Democrats need every trunk vote they can get.

  15. Everything George Lucas has said about his theoretical Star Wars sequel trilogy

    May the Force be With You, George “Sellout” Lucas.

    1. Darth Vader had an affair with Dumbledore?

      1. Boldly going where no man has gone before.

      2. No way Darth Vader could stand up to lighting bolts shooting out of Dumbledore’s asshole.

    2. Say what you will about George Lucas, but he at least made 3 decent Star Wars films. While he failed miserably at making 3 more, it’s questionable that Disney has really done a better job than he did.

      At least the Lucas prequel films had a narrative, even if it was a piss poor one. I’ve seen two of the ‘new’ films, and to be honest I still don’t know what’s going on. There is no clear plot thread throughout those films.

      In fact, the second film made a point of killing all potential plot threads. Rian Johnson seems to have purposefully killed the series.

      I guess that’s what happens when you keep trading out directors. You end up with films that just aren’t cohesive.

  16. According to my genetic tests, I am 1/4 Askenazi Jewish, so if Jewishness is defined genetically like Irish, Italian, African, etc., how is it not an ethnicity?

    1. Because Trump is genetically 110% Hitler

    2. We cannot have an honest discussion about race in order to classify people.

      Lets just back to: Crackers (Oppressors is also acceptable), Niggers, Sand Niggers, Chinks, Kikes, Wops, Nazis, Frog-Eaters, Spics….

      1. And the ever inclusive ‘DamnYankees’.

      2. Hey, you left the micks off your list!

    3. you’re 1/4 Askenazi whether you practice Judaism or not.

      1. There’s a genetic group of Jews that have “nazi” as 1/2 of their name?!?!

      2. I don’t understand but anyway.

        Ashkenazi simply refers to Jews of European origin. The word “Askenaz” refers to France which had one of the earliest Jewish communities in Europe.

        That is distinguished from Sephardic Jews who are from the Mediterranean, North African, and Middle East regions. Sepharad is Hebrew for Spain.

        The two differ somewhat in liturgy and customs. For example Sephardic Jews eat rice on Passover while Ashkenazi Jews do not. Israel has two chief rabbis one of each tradition.

        Another term you may see is Mizrachi (eastern) Jews. This refers specifically to those from N Africa.

        The genetics are only of interest because several diseases are strongly liked to ashkenazi Jewish descent. Tay-Sachs disease and the BRCA-1 gene linked to breast cancer.

  17. Pentagon to evaluate legality of putting troops at US-Mexico border

    Long time federal bureaucrats think keeping troops overseas is OKAY but protecting US Border not okay.

    Fucking traitors.

    1. We have laws going back to the 1800s that are specifically, and explicitly, to limit the use of the US Army within the border.

      How is acknowledging and following those laws being a “traitor”?

      1. Those laws were written by oppressive white men which makes them invalid. Plus, they are living documents and subject to change with the times.

      2. Militaries aren’t allowed to protect the US border!

        1. Broadly speaking, yeah.

          That kind of inside-the-border action is appropriate for the National Guard, not the US Army.

          1. “inside-the-border”

            You keep stealing this base like no one sees you doing it.

            1. … you mean the base that loveconstitution1789’s article started on?

          2. Hahaha.

            You have really outdone yourself today escherenigma.

            Thanks for the good laughs. Merry Christmas to you too!

          3. The National Guard is the US Army reserve.
            There’s no difference but active status

            1. Besides who has authority over them and where they can be deployed, sure.

              1. That is my understanding as well. The governor can deploy Guards domestically within the state. The DOD can deploy NG troops overseas for war. The exception as near as I can find is in the case of “insurrection” which does not apply here.

      3. Your citation fell off about the US Army being used for national defense.

        If you mean Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, that limits federal troops from being used for law enforcement. The Democrat Party passed that bit of legislation.

        Fun Fact: After the Civil War, Democrats refused to let Backs vote, serve on juries, hold office, so Ulysees S. Grant got the Enforcement Act of 1871 passed to allow federal troops to be used to protect Black American’s rights.

        1. “If you mean Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, that limits federal troops from being used for law enforcement. The Democrat Party passed that bit of legislation.”

          Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Little Rock Arkansas. There were no battle ribbons given to the 101st Airborne.

          1. No kidding.

            Also I vaguely remember the Posse Comitatus Act taking a bit of a beating post 9/11 although I don’t recall specifics.

        2. Bona fide national defense would of course be permissible.

          What’s being talked about at the border? Is not national defense.

          1. Except no one cares about your opinion on the subject, which is literally your only valid objection.

            “NU UHHHHH NOT DEFENSE” isn’t an argiment it’s just an assertion no one gives a shit about.

            If that was all you had (and we have seen now that it is) you should have just stayed quiet.

            1. The Pentagon’s opinion on the subject, backed by their lawyers, which was the entire basis for the article linked by loveconstitution1789.

          2. Haha. Hordes of invading armed non-Americans is not an invasion, according to this guy.. Hahaha.

            1. BTW, the USA fought the Mexican-American War in 1846 for less.

  18. They

    The woke scolds are really trying to make this thing happen, huh? They must be pissed that most people still don’t know or give a shit about any of this woke bullshit.

    1. What seems super weird to me that is the end result of being “woke” is just treating everybody as an individual and respecting their rights.

      However, the current wokers seem to think that all people can be safely put into a box because of the color of their skin or who they screw.

  19. Federal judge blocks Trump plan to spend millions in military funds on border wall construction

    Cue MSM Propaganda that tries to mock lack of border wall progress minutes after Lefty federal judge tries to stop border wall construction.

    1. DACA is irrevocable though.

    1. These are the reparations KMW was talking about in her past article. It’s Americas job to spread the wealth caused by our whiteness

      1. Appears that more and more Black Americans are not fond of spreading their wealth to non-Americans without their say-so.

        1. They’ve finally caught up from the decades of abuse by democrat leadership in big cities

          1. Democrat leadership knows this, hence the need for illegals.

            Cutting off the flood of new Democrats was one of Trump’s best chess moves.

    2. There have also been shit loads of middle eastern terrorists pouring over the southern border but we don’t talk about that either.

  20. I’ve been listening to Jimmy Dore on Youtube since 2016. He has terrible economic policies, but he really nails the intel community and corruption, regardless of party affiliation.

    It’s great to watch a jaggoff, socialist comedian do more comprehensive, more honest reporting than an entire staff of so-called libertarians. I’d rather donate to a socialist than to whatever the fuck this publication has become.

    Keep sucking the bureaucracies dick, after all, orange man bad

    1. I watched some Jimmy Dore about Pelosi. Never saw him before. Thanks.

      I like when pundits do thorough analysis of what politicians say or more importantly don’t say when asked.

      Makes sense that these old politicians like Pelosi, Hillary, Biden, McCain, etc had/have to stay in power or some young politicians might come along and let them be indicted for war crimes and crimes against America.

  21. “Remember that in Hitler’s first written comment in 1919 on the so-called Jewish Question, he likewise defined the Jews as a race and not a religious community,” tweeted Jon Cooper, chair of the Democratic Coalition.

    And who can even count the number of times Trump has referred to the Jews as a problem in need of a solution?

    1. Or the number of times some TDS victim somehow compared Trump to Hitler?

      1. For four fucken damn years every time I confronted someone who screamed ‘Trump is Hitler’ demanding SPECIFIC example and evidence I was met with a stupid dumbfounded look that I want to smack off their ignorant faces.

        Tired of this shit.

        1. Smack first, ask the question second.

  22. David Bernstein says on Volokh:

    As for the the “nationality” issue, the NY Times’ report on this was abysmal. Jews are already a “racial” group for purposes of Reconstruction-era civil rights legislation (as are Arabs) via SCOTUS precedent, and it was the position of both the Bush II and Trump Office of Civil Rights at DOE that Jews are protected as a race or nationality under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act when they face discrimination as an ethnic group rather than based on religion. Trump is just formalizing that, it’s not some novel thing.

    1. I was shocked at the misrepresentation by Elizabeth Nolan-Brown. She should know better. Her article is just false and misleading.

      1. Why? ENB isn’t exactly known for doing well-researched articles about anything other than sex. Most of her other work seems to be “research” via twitter.

      2. “…Her article is just false and misleading.”

        Add to that:
        “A blow to anti-Semitism or a blow to free speech?”

        Please explain to a non-TDS victim how in hell it could ever be “a blow to free speech”.

        1. As long as she’s blowing something, the specifics don’t really matter.

      3. Silly shiksa.

    2. I was thinking the same thing. The media’s comparisons to Hitler rely on the most shallow of connections. Are they really suggesting that Trump, of all people, has some sort of evil master plan to kill the Jews?

      You have to be a special kind of moron to think that Trump wants to kill the Jews while also thinking that he has it out for the Palestinians. Remember this?? On December 6, 2017 President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stated that the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

      Fucking idiots. This nation is filled with fucking idiots.

      1. You have to be a special kind of moron to think that Trump wants to kill the Jews while also thinking that he has it out for the Palestinians.


        A much more reasonable belief is that on most complicated issues, Trump does not have strong beliefs or principles. His moves are guided more by rewarding allies, and punishing enemies, then anything else. And seeing as his favor is so mercurial, and easily won or lost, this leads to him taking actions that don’t make much sense if you assume he’s principled and consistent.

        In this case, if this is an antisemitic dog-whistle†, he probably doesn’t even know it. But whoever drafted it for him? Probably did.
        †Might be. I’m not well-versed in such things. I can see the argument about how calling Judaism a “nationality” is to question loyalty, but I don’t know how pervasive such things have been in history.

        1. You’re an imbecile.


          And your stupid fucking retard ass still tries to portray it as such.


            Whether it’s a dog-whistle or not is entirely irrelevant to my actual point, which was people’s judgement of Trump’s motivations.

        2. And seeing as his favor is so mercurial, and easily won or lost

          Trump has never operated like that. Watching this guy for the last 35 years, it’s pretty obvious that what he values most is loyalty. He’ll move heaven and earth for someone whom he thinks has been loyal in face of adversity. That’s it.

          That’s why Herschel Walker remains a close friend of his, despite Walker admitting to losing out on various endorsement and business deals due to his association with Trump. It’s why Kellyanne Conway has probably set a record for being on his staff, despite the fact that her *own husband* repeatedly slags him on Twitter. It’s why he pardoned Joe Arpaio.

          Saying that he’s “mercurial” avoids the fact that the means to remain in his good graces is so blatant and long-established.

    3. TDS brah. T.D.S.

      ‘More brains!’

  23. I believe Shakespeare also used “they” and “their” as singular pronouns occasionally.

    1. It’s perfectly acceptable in modern English as well. It’s used whenever the object of a sentence is a person of unknown identity. It’s the pronoun that refers to “someone”. I can also be used someone less commonly when the gender of a specific person is genuinely not known.

      “Did you see that driver cut me off? I hope they get a ticket!”

      1. Who’s “they”?

        What’s an Aluminum Falcon!?!

      2. “It’s perfectly acceptable in modern English as well. It’s used whenever the object of a sentence is a person of unknown identity”

        So, the trannies are using it incorrectly got it.

    2. Anyone who insists on the third-person pronouns “they, their, theirs” should always use the royal “we” to be consistent.

  24. OK Reason, how fucking long are you fake libertarians going to keep up the blackout of the Peloton ad scandal? Every other damn media outlet in the country is covering this and all we get from you is crickets. Maybe you could pull your cocktail-swilling heads out of your idiot proggie asses long enough to set aside some time for a national crisis?

    1. I appreciate this comment, because I hadn’t even heard about this until now. I looked it up and found this gem from Variety:

      People say they no longer watch TV commercials. And yet,, hundreds appear to have scrutinized an ad from interactive-workout company Peloton with an intensity so vigorous it threatens to overwhelm the web.

      Hundreds scrutinized the ad! Hundreds!!

    2. The real crisis is how many peloton commercials they play. If there wasn’t a mute button on the remote, I might have gone on a 3 day killing spree.

    3. The families of the 3 dead and 8 wounded sailors in Pensacola are laughing their asses off at how incisive this comparison is.

      1. But I mean what difference at this point does it make, amirite?

      2. I know, right? It’s like it didn’t even happen if Reason isn’t covering it!

    4. Its weird but before their was a scandal I ranted at my wife from the exact opposite conclusions that twitter is on.

      This is some stupid spoiled wannabe famous bitch that neglects her child and forces her husband to watch her vlog and kiss her ass at the end of the year.

      1. I like that take.
        I just always found it weird, but that woman clearly had mental/emotional issues from the beginning

  25. “A number of people have pointed out that defining Judaism as a race or ethnicity rather than a religion is a plank white supremacists promote.”

    Trump may be right or wrong about this, but if the Democrats and the social justice warriors want to see Trump reelected in a landslide, this is the way to do it.

    I haven’t seen anyone since Reagan treated by the usual suspects this way–and what I mean by that is their willingness to turn anything and everything he says or does into a support for Nazis.

    Reagan once gave a speech mentioning that the Pilgrims came to a new world, empty and full of promise. The usual suspect claimed he didn’t know Native Americans were here before the Pilgrims.

    Reagan was reelected in 49 out of 50 states. California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York: Reagan won them all.

    Donald Trump ain’t no Ronald Reagan, but he ain’t no antisemite either. I guess they realize that the impeachment won’t work, so they’ve moving to Plan A. Plan A is what backfired last time.

    Plan A is that you tell the American people that Trump is a homophobic, misogynistic, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobe, who sexually assaults women, has his campaign aids beat up female reporters from Breitbart at his Nuremberg style campaign rallies–like a Nazi. Now they’re claiming he’s an antisemite.

    All Plan A succeeded in doing last time was persuading the American people that Trump was one of them. After all, the usual suspects had been denouncing average people in the Midwest for being white, Christian, blue collar, or middle class in the same terms for eight years during the Obama administration, so when the usual suspects started denouncing Trump in similar terms, the American people became convinced that a billionaire casino magnate with a foreign trophy wife must be one of them.

    Even if the social justice warriors and the usual suspects understood this, I’m not sure they could stop. What’s the point of being a social justice warrior or a usual suspect if you can’t smear Trump for being an antisemite or the white, blue collar, middle class for being racist, stupid, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. Doing that shit isn’t just what they do. It’s who they are. Haters gotta hate.

    1. Plan A is that you tell the American people that Trump is a homophobic, misogynistic, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobe, who sexually assaults women, has his campaign aids beat up female reporters from Breitbart at his Nuremberg style campaign rallies–like a Nazi. Now they’re claiming he’s an antisemite.

      Still better than Plan B, which was to tell the the American people that they’re homophobic, misogynistic, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic Nazi antisemites. As the Rev often suggests, the Dem’s campaign slogan is basically “Vote For Us, You Evil Morons”.

    2. “A number of people have pointed out that defining Judaism as a race or ethnicity rather than a religion is a plank white supremacists promote.”

      Did you know some white supremacists wear TIES?!

  26. “Trump Wants To Declare Judaism a Nationality and Everyone Is Confused”

    No, only those who look at the worst possible reason for everything Trump are. But then again, confusing those people is no big hurdle.

  27. > Merriam-Webster dictionary’s 2019 Word of the Year is the gender-neutral and singular they.

    This is fine. “They” can indeed be used as a singular gender-neutral pronoun. I has been used this way for centuries. Consider the following sentence:

    “Someone stole my lunch out of the fridge. I hope they choke on my sandwich”.

    Clearly, the “they” refers to a single person, the thief. But the identity and gender of the thief is not known. It’s a perfectly acceptable sentence.

    The problem I have is people trying to use “they” to refer to known people. Shit like this: “Barbara habitually steals lunches from the breakroom fridge. They is a very bad person.”

    1. Future generations will look back on this trans-pronoun-bathroom of our time tempest with wonderment.

      1. No, they won’t. Because anyone who didn’t go along with it will have died in a gulag.

      2. People sometimes wonder how all those Germans who were well-educated fell under the spell of Hitler and allowed such unspeakable things to happen.

        What you see Lefties doing and their enablers is HOW.

        Socialists (Nazis) get into power and implement crazy sounding rules affecting some group. The people who think Socialism is just misunderstood dont want to rock the boat, so they dont. Bad things happen to more than that group. Rinse and repeat.

    2. The problem I have is people trying to use “they” to refer to known people. Shit like this: “Barbara habitually steals lunches from the breakroom fridge. They is a very bad person.”

      The problem is your deliberately bad grammar: “Barbara habitually steals lunches from the breakroom fridge. They are a very bad person.”

      The grammar around they/their doesn’t change based on whether you’ve identified an individual.

      1. Because the usage is utterly moronic

    3. “The problem I have”

      No one cares. Largely because you think using something incorrectly previously as a justifcation for doing so now.


    Trump is a Nazi for bringing Jewish people under the protection of the Civil Rights Act.

    You really can’t make this shit up.

    And this from the stupid cunt who barked on cue like a trained seal when Obama declared homosexuality to be a “sex” under the Civil Rights Act.

  29. I prefer “hey you” or “idiot” over they

    1. Don’t forget “you damn fool”. Always useful.

  30. Remember folks, it’s the Right which is now the indefatigable defender of the First Amendment

    1. The framers never anticipated the high capacity military grade assault porn now in use.

    2. Jeff, if cherry-picking didn’t pay well, you’d starve top death.
      Fuck off.

    3. the daily wire is filled with many neo-cons who justify our illegal wars and brow beat things they can’t control

        1. Who vote for, and are pandered to by, Republicans?

          1. It’s fun when historically illiterate faggots who think history began at Stonewall don’t realize that the progressive movement captured both parties and the first progressive president was Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

            1. +1000

            2. EscherEnigma won’t admit there are Republicans and RINOs.

              If he knew about Libertarianism, he probably wouldn’t admit there are LINOs either. reason is living proof there are LINOs. These fucking clowns say they are Libertarians and then print article after article of the Lefty nonsense.

              1. Your lack of brand-control isn’t my problem.

                1. Ok Jeff.

              2. escherenigma is a firm believer in beating off to his own problem solver.

            3. Left/right is a distinction that quickly falls into “No True Scotsman”, which is why I didn’t bother arguing that.

              What I pointed out is that regardless of how y’all want to attribute their “true” leanings, they still vote Republican.

              1. Sure Jeff.

                1. Poor escherenigma cant differentiate between political affiliation, political motivation, and voting habits.

                  1. Seriously? Judging people by their actual behavior, rather then the thoughts in their heads, is suddenly a problem to you?

    4. Having to show ID before you buy porn is basically the same as deplatforming, IRS targeting, and violent assaults against disfavored speakers. Bravo cytotoxic, you’ve done it again. With this it of whataboutism you have completely DESTROYED the Reason Republican cabal and made the world safe for transgender story hour.

    5. Did anyone anywhere ever say that or are you just lying again?

  31. Why did they have to “redefine” what being Jewish meant?

    Isn’t acknowleding that yes, it is a religion and an ethnicity (depending on the person) sufficient? Making it a nationality is just weird, because most American Jewish folk aren’t from Israel, and “National Origin” doesn’t normally track back to civilizations/nations that were conquered centuries ago. It’d be like trying to claim “Viking” as a national origin. Yeah, there once was a place where “vikings” came from, but it became Norway/Denmark/Sweden a long time ago. Skipping over those national origins to go do “viking” is just weird.

    That said, I don’t see why any of that precludes recognizing that “Jew” can mean religion and/or ethnicity depending on context. It’s just weird.

    1. No one cares what you think tho.

  32. ╔════╗───────────────╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗─╔╗╔╗╔╗

  33. Bad news for the dictionary people. The real word of the year for 2019 is ‘bullshit’.

    1. I think you may be trying to refer to Chappell’s label “alphabet people”?

      1. +100

  34. >>>provoked a huge amount worry and, of course, Holocaust comparisons.

    from asshole morons wtf

  35. I’d like to see the executive order to see what specifically it says.

    But the *concept* of Jewishness being a national-origin or racial classification isn’t original. The US Supreme Court (with some stretching of the statutory language) protected Jews under the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Was the Supreme Court anti-Semitic?

    But I’m giving the TDS-afflicted more credit than they deserve. I appreciate the reminder that these folks are deranged and shouldn’t be anywhere near power.

    The devil’s in the details, but merely affirming that ethnic Jews should be protected from discrimination is a no-brainer.

    And Hitler is precisely the point – he discriminated against ethnic Jews, and unless limited by political constraints, he lumped in Christian converts along with other ethnic Jews. So if we’re going to discuss Hitler, let’s ask, “if you say that what Hitler did *isn’t* discriminating against Jews, isn’t your definition of discrimination by definition wrong?”

    Who, today, engages in traditional religious discrimination against followers of Judaism? Maybe it sometimes happens (synagogue vandalism,etc.), but the danger nowadays is from people who act out their bigotry against people of Jewish *descent,* whether the targeted individuals are practicing Jews or not.

    The remedy should be fashioned to address the wrong.

    Now, there may be some joker clauses in the executive order which go beyond the law, I’d have to read the E. O. to find out.

    If Trump follows in the heels of Obama and uses the Civil Rights Act to pressure universities to deny traditional liberties, that would be wrong, to be sure.

    But the people going on about Hitler Hitler Hitler should just shut the heck up. Or, no, maybe they should keep talking, to remind people what kind of people are in the #Resistance.

    1. My challenge to the “Hitler!” shouters is – OK, then, if the ethnic definition of discrimination is unacceptable, in what sense *did* Hitler discriminate against Jews? If you can’t answer, that shows how retarded you are.

  36. From the linked article

    “The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion,…”

    I was under the impression that Jewishness is considered by many (if not all) Jews to be a characteristic that is passed matrilineally.

    If that is not a ‘race’ then nothing is.

    1. If the authors here were actual libertarians then they might note that Trump is merely adding to the error and gross imposition on liberty that the entire CRA is.

      But that sort of language is gauche and not really in keeping with their progressive values.

      1. ENB is just fine with the CRA, she’s just not fine with Trump getting in on the act. Especially him protecting anyone from leftist hate.

  37. I honestly think Reason should get rid of these “roundups.” Too many commentators are getting confused and trying to attribute the quotes to ENB personally.

    For example, the only thing I would actually think is the opinion of ENB is the final paragraph, warning about the application of the EO itself. Everything else is just a bunch of quotes from the internet.

    I think Reason realized rushing out content/quotes/links is not a great way to do things and got rid of PM links. It’s now time to retire the AM links, or this new version of it.

    1. A headline appears above her byline. If she does not wish attribution to apply then she is certainly free to say so.

      In the absence of such refutation it is entirely reasonable to infer that the headline accurately reflects her intentions.

      1. Wow, that was fast.

        1. Thanks for getting jcw ENB to clarify that.

          1. “However, the draft text of the executive order does not define Judaism as a nationality, as the Times initially reported, and as this article originally stated. It turns out we were somewhat confused as well.*”

            She’s admitting she reported the NYT article as fact. Seems like at this point she’d know better?

          2. I should also note that, at present, the main page title remains the old title.

            “Trump Wants To Declare Judaism a Nationality and Everyone Is Confused”

  38. Everyone* is confused** because they***’re so blinded by Trump-hate that they*** leap on and repeat whatever lie about what Trump is doing that the New York Times happens to print today.

    Trump’s an asshole and I didn’t vote for him, but y’all need to step back and get some perspective. He’s not particularly worse than any other politician who’s been a major-party candidate for the Presidency in the last 60 years.

    *That is, “ENB”.
    **That is, “caught spreading blatant lies”.
    ***Singular and female.

  39. Facebook and Google are no longer among the 10 best places to work in the US, according to employees

    Notably, other tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon are also absent from the 10 best places to work list.

    Uh-oh. Self correcting problem. These companies might just go bankrupt.

    1. this is likely because the employee base is so woke that they are beginning to rate their otherwise *fantastic*, *extremely highly paid* jobs lower than a normal person would because of various woke concerns about the company’s business.

      1. When Cambridge Analytica broke, Facebook fell from grace as being considered one of the most prestigious places to work in Silicon Valley. It’s OK now to discuss that rumors that some of their code is still written in PHP.

    1. That’s why 50+ percent full thickness burns are generally fatal – you don’t have enough healthy skin left to use for grafting.

      1. Yes and LC thinks it is a joke.

    1. “You can’t throw a rock at the 2020 field without hitting a rival of Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s who says their platforms are fantasies that insult the common sense of regular heartland Americans. ”

      to be fair, it’s true.

    2. Article is, literally, “uh uh, YOU live in a bubble!”

  40. a href=”″>Impeachment is a losing strategy for the left. Let’s focus on winning in 2020- Bhaskar Sunkara

    Uh-oh. When you’ve lost one of the founding editors of Jacobin magazine….

  41. German army to get military rabbis again after 100 years

    Is it wrong that I saw “rabbits” rather than rabbis?

    1. Military rabbits?

      Clearly calls for a holy hand grenade.

    2. The first Jewish chaplain in the US military was appointed during the civil war by order of Lincoln. Jewish chaplains have been serving ever since.

  42. Wasteful spending and half-baked ideas: U.S. officials reveal how massive rebuilding projects in Afghanistan backfired

    Something tells me that Congress being against spending money on a border wall is the best idea.

  43. Wow, what a staggering mischaracterization of Trump. So much so that even Reason had to rewrite their article because of their knee-jerk retardation.


    It appears that everyone is so idiotic that Trump attempting to give enhanced protections to the Jewish community, a group that routinely has actual terrorist attacks leveled against them, is him being a Nazi.

    Shallow thinkers abound. Anyone that reads the news right now would notice that Jews are being targeted right now today for death. Go figure.

    I might not like special carve outs, but if you’re going to be handing them out you might as well hand them out to people who are actually being targeted.

  44. It has long been a discussion within the Jewish community as to a definition of who is a Jew.

    Judaism is a religion. Yet you can be a Jew and not practice the religion at all. You can also convert into Judaism. If you are born to a Jewish mother you are Jewish. If you chose to opt out then it really doesn’t matter you simply have Jewish ancestry.

    Zionism is the modern concept of Jewish nationality. Yet you can be anti Zionist as was the Reform Jewish community who sought to define it strictly as a religion in the early days and still be Jewish. Also many early zionists rejected the religion entirely.

    The identity as a distinct Jewish nation better understood as a people goes back all the way through Jewish history and faith.

    It is most definitely not a race. Cross that right off the list.

    Interesting examples of diverse populations who were separated from the larger community for centuries would include the Ethiopian Jews and the Bene Israel of India.

    Probably the best broad definition would be an ethnic identity based on a common history and religion. It does not easily fit in with modern concepts. In any case a precise definition is not necessary. Jews have persisted for many thousands of years without one.

    Personally I don’t see the need for such a policy declaration from the government. I think it just muddies the waters further and could interfere with free speech.

  45. “The identity as a distinct Jewish nation better understood as a people goes back all the way through Jewish history and faith.

    It is most definitely not a race.”

    It’s as much a race as any other notion of a race. We call people ‘white’ or ‘black’ based upon much less distinction.

    A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society.

    And playing semantic games like saying “a people” is functionally equivalent to calling them a race.

    1. The silly thing about this brouhaha is that all Trump has done is turn Obama administration policy on Title VI of the CRA into an Executive Order.

      This is Orange Man Bad writ in billboard sized font.

    2. There actually is no such thing as race in genetic terms as I have argued here before. There are some genetic differences in clusters based on geographic distribution, migration, and reproductive tendencies within groups but those are not what people call race.

      The traditional concept of phenotypic or genetic differences based on geographic origin obviously does not apply to Jews. Furthermore the usual way the term is applied does not work because you can opt in or out. So Ivanka Trump changed her race? Really sounds silly. You can’t change your race.

      To use the Wikipedia definition of “or social qualities” is too vague and broad to be of any use as a term.

      Matrilineal descent has long been a principle in Jewish law not only in Jewish identity but in inheritance and property rights for the simple reason that you always know who the mother is. It also gave women rights for themselves and their children when those were few.

      Jews do not self define as a race. An Ethiopian Jew I and I, from East European stock are equally Jews as is Ivanka Trump.

      Race is an outdated term from what we now know from anthropology and genetics.

      I really laid it all out in the post above. To claim that worthless Wiki definition makes race as good as any other worthless definition. Cmon.

      What Jews do know from our history is that when people try to define us as a race it is time to watch our backs.

      1. I never mentioned genetics. Shared physical qualities may have little to no inherited basis yet are widely used for determination of race. Australian aboriginals being considered as black as any sub Saharan African.

        You want to argue now for elimination of the concept of race? Fine. But in the mean time race as a recognized, accepted, and promulgated concept very much remains a real social construct.

        So do not try to pretend that is what you were doing all along.

        1. As I’ve mentioned above. Donald Trump is only a symptom of the disease. If we want to end racism the way to do that is to stop drawing (creating) racial distinctions. And – ESPECIALLY – stop making laws that codify such racial distinctions. That is the problem with the entire Civil Rights Act, by defining racism it perpetuates it.

          But it is curious that these arguments only get any consideration when someone like Orange Man joins in on the festivities. Certainly not when someone like Obama is doing functionally identical things.

          Libertarians my ass.

          1. Donald Trump decide to crash the Identity Politics Charade and progressives don’t like it when he tries to operate on their street corner.

          2. Has nothing to do with Trump so far as I am concerned. I know that he is just stretching title VI to try include antisemitism. As I said I do not think it is necessary.

            I have expressed my views on race many times here at Reason. Race is a myth. Nonetheless it is a term people use and it is applied here so I have explained Jewish identity as I understand it.

            Sadly this week the issue has come up again with the murders in New Jersey. I have known about the Black Hebrew Israelites for years. The small movement has been around for at least a century. This is the first issue of violence so far as I know.

  46. I wish I could find it on VC, but I swear I read an article there once about some weird legal loophole where someone was effectively able to discriminate against Jews because of semantics regarding race and religion.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.