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Photo: Noam Galai/WireImage

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to virtually define Judaism as a race or national origin, not just a religion, under the Civil Rights Act.

The big picture: The order is meant to address anti-Jewish bias in universities. It also expands acts of anti-Semitism to include anti-Israel statements. Both measures have been spearheaded by Kenneth Marcus, head of the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, the New York Times notes.

  • Marcus opened investigations into the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University over alleged admissions biases against Jewish people.
  • He also investigated and reopened cases at New York University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Rutgers University dealing with anti-Israel sentiments and schools that allegedly created hostile environments for Jewish students.

Between the lines: Trump's signature comes amid several anti-Semitic attacks in America. A mass shooter killed three people at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday after posting anti-Semitic remarks online.

  • An attacker in April at Poway Synagogue in California killed one woman, and a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last year killed 11.

What they're saying: Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law who is Jewish, wrote in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday that the order is aimed at protecting Jewish students. In response to criticism that it would further separate Jewish people in America, Kushner wrote:

"When news of the impending executive order leaked, many rushed to criticize it without understanding its purpose. The executive order does not define Jews as a nationality. It merely says that to the extent that Jews are discriminated against for ethnic, racial or national characteristics, they are entitled to protection by the anti-discrimination law."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.