DeVos: Efforts to boycott Israel are a ‘pernicious threat’

Betsy DeVos gestures while smiling

In this Sept. 17, 2018 photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a student town hall at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says a movement to boycott Israel has become a “pernicious threat” and a source of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

DeVos made the comments Monday while speaking at a Justice Department summit on combating anti-Semitism. She said supporters of the boycott movement are “bullies” who claim to stand for human rights but actually harbor bias against Jews.

Pro-Palestine activists at many colleges have called for a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestine, often leading to tension with pro-Israel groups on campus.

DeVos said Israel has friends in the Education Department and that her own visits to the Holy Land have shaped her in many ways.

Her defense of Israel comes as President Donald Trump accuses four congresswomen of color of being anti-Semitic.

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