Biden Administration Unveils First-Ever National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism

Biden Administration Unveils First-Ever National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism
President Joe Biden departs a celebration marking Jewish American Heritage Month in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2023, in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
5/25/2023
Updated:
5/25/2023
0:00

The Biden administration on May 25 released a national strategy to counter antisemitism, describing the plan as the “most ambitious and comprehensive U.S. government-led effort to fight antisemitism in American history.”

The administration announced 100 new actions (pdf) and over 100 calls to action to combat antisemitism, including new actions on college campuses and online in their U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.

President Joe Biden, in a speech unveiling the plan, opened with comments referencing the death of a young woman at a political rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, saying participants were “spewing” what was “heard across Europe in the 1930s.”

The president denounced those actions, saying that antisemitism has been given too much “oxygen” in this country.

“Silence is complicity. We cannot remain silent,” Biden said. “I will not remain silent. You should not either. That’s why today I’m releasing the first-ever national strategy to counter antisemitism.”

Led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and National Security Council, the Interagency Policy Committee on Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Related Forms of Bias and Discrimination has been tasked with developing the nation’s first-ever strategy to counter antisemitism.

The White House cited data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with American Jews accounting for 63 percent of reported religiously motivated hate crimes, despite comprising only 2.4 percent of the population.

To rally comprehensive support, the Biden-Harris administration announced commitments from various sectors, including the private sector, civil society, religious and multi-faith communities, and higher education.

Prominent organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, and Council on American-Islamic Relations have joined the cause. The administration also urged other organizations to take part in implementing impactful initiatives against antisemitism.

The Department of Homeland Security will conduct workshops on countering antisemitic violence, while the Department of Justice will engage with community-based groups affected by hate crimes.

The administration also plans to expand community-based prevention efforts and strengthen threat information sharing between law enforcement and online platforms, pushing tech companies to enforce their community standards not to expand their antisemitic content posted online.

The Biden administration is also calling on Congress to hold social media platforms accountable for hate-fueled violence, enact legislation to enhance transparency and enable public interest research on the spread of antisemitism.

The Department of Education will launch an Antisemitism Awareness Campaign to raise awareness and equip teachers, students, parents, and school communities to combat the troubling growth of antisemitism.

The Orthodox Union spoke out, commending the president’s action and for the administration’s “commitment to rapidly implement this National Strategy by setting concrete deadlines for its proposed actions and tasking an Interagency Group to pursue implementation,” according to their press release sent to The Epoch Times.

Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, said “We applaud President Biden for initiating this critical effort to combat antisemitism and support the right of American Jews to practice our faith free from fear.”

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