The Biden administration has announced a national strategy to fight antisemitism.
On Thursday, President Biden said the program is “the most ambitious and comprehensive U.S. government-led effort” in history.
“The past several years, hate has been given too much oxygen, fueling a rapid rise in antisemitism. It’s simply wrong. It’s not only it’s immoral, it’s unacceptable. It’s on all of us to stop it,” Biden said during a virtual event from the White House. The president was later by two members of his cabinet and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.
The 60-page strategy also comes at a time when the U.S. is dealing with record highs of violence and hate speech directed at Jewish communities. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), there were 3,697 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2022, a 36% increase compared to 2021’s record figures and the highest number since the ADL started keeping such statistics in 1979.
Biden echoed a similar sentiment in the strategy’s report noting domestic terrorismthat’s rooted in white supremacy, including antisemitism, is “the greatest terrorist threat” in the country.
“Together, we must acknowledge and confront the reality that antisemitism is rising, both at homeand abroad,” Biden said. “Loud voices are normalizing this venom, but we must never allow it to become normal. Antisemitism threatens not only the Jewish community, but all Americans.”
Trump using antisemitic tropes for fundsDonald Trump using antisemitic rhetoric to get political donations after indictment
Did DeSantis know about his appointee?She stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Then Gov. Ron DeSantis made her a state regulator
Biden’s countering antisemitism strategy has four overarching themes
The president said the strategy has four broad themes. They include increasing awareness and understanding of antisemitism; improving safety and security in Jewish communities; reversing the normalizing of antisemitism; and building solidarity across communities.
Among the highlights:
- Domestic policy adviser Susan Rice said Thursday the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum would launch the first ever US-based Holocaust education research center. Also, Rice said federal agencies will incorporate material on how to address antisemitism in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility training programs moving forward. “A firm and unrelenting response from government, business and civil society is essential and is urgent,” Rice said. “That’s exactly the action this strategy to counter antisemitism represents.”
- Rice said the Biden administration’s strategy also consists of more than 100 provisions that call for congressional action, increased monitoring by big tech platforms and improved education at the civic level within the next year.
- Homeland Security Adviser Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall said the strategy includes 10 separate calls to tech companies to “establish a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on their platforms and to ensure their algorithms do not pass along hate speech and extreme content to users.” She also said the strategy “encourages countering antisemitic discrimination in all sectors of American society.” She cited that the Education Department sent a letter reminding schools of their obligations to address discrimination.
“It sends a clear and forceful message: In America, evil will not win. Hate will not prevail. The venom of antisemitism will not be the story of our time,” Biden added.
Oath Keepers leader sentencedOath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes sentenced to 18 years in prison for Jan. 6 Capitol attack
Extrimist groups in the U.S. carry onTwo years since the Jan. 6 insurrection, extremist groups are fragmented, but live on
Biden’s plan to fight antisemitism praised by religious leader
Biden’s plan was well received by one national religious leader seeking to curb antisemitism. Amanda Tyler, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty said in a statement Thursday that the national strategy is a helpful step forward in the ongoing work of fulfilling the nation’s promise of religious freedom for all.
“No American truly has religious freedom until we all do. Antisemitism denies the promise of faith freedom for all and is used by extremists to divide us against each other,” said Tyler, who participated in a listening session contributing to the strategy’s development.
“Those who advance antisemitism want our Jewish neighbors to feel alone,” Tyler continued. “…we refuse to be divided. We must come together across lines of religious difference as allies to form a united front for religious freedom, democracy and pluralism.”
The president acknowledged in the strategy’s report that antisemitism not only threatens the U.S.’s Jewish community, which is about 3% of the country’s overall population but all Americans.
“People who peddle these antisemitic conspiracy theories and fuel racial, ethnic, and religious hatred againstJews also target other communities, including Black and brown Americans; Asian Americans,Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; LGBTQI+ individuals; Muslim Americans; women andgirls; and so many others,” Biden said.
Antisemitism strategy unveiled after a man rammed a truck near White House with a Nazi flag
The plan comes after Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri was arrested earlier this week on federal charges after he crashed a U-Haul truck into barriers near the White House, authorities said. A Nazi flag was among several items discovered in Kandula’s truck.
The suspect told Secret Service agents on Monday he flew to Washington from a St. Louis suburb on a one-way ticket after months of planning, according to court documents. Kandula wanted to “get to the White House, seize power and be put in charge of the nation,” the documents said. The suspect also said he would “kill the president, if that’s what I have to do.”
Kandula remains in custody and has been charged in federal court with one count of depredation of property of the United States in excess of $1,000. He was originally arrested on several charges, including threatening to kill or harm a president, vice president or family member. He could face additional charges.