Biden’s “ambitious” plan to fight antisemitism receives mixed reactions from Jewish groups

Recently, President Joe Biden released a 60-page national strategy to fight antisemitism. He called it the most "ambitious and comprehensive" plan to stop hatred against Jews. Recent FBI data on hate crimes showed that anti-Jewish attacks would rise by 16% from 2020 to 2021. This led to the decision. Antisemitism would not be able to stand on its own, and the plan would say over and over again that executive steps were being planned to fight "antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination." Even though there are a number of new national programs and projects, the Jewish community has mixed feelings about the news.

StopAntisemitism's Executive Director Liora Rez was "extremely disturbed" by parts of the White House's plan, especially the fact that it did not only use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's meaning of antisemitism as a set standard for the plan. The White House said that both the IHRA definition and the Nexus definition, which is seen as a more progressive version of the IHRA definition, are "valuable tools to raise awareness."

Under the plan, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center would start evaluating the "antisemitic drivers of transnational violent extremism" every year. It told the Holocaust Memorial Museum to set up a study center for Holocaust education and research in the United States. It also told the Education Department to make programs to fight antisemitism and to include antisemitism in training for federal employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The plan was made with help from more than a dozen lobbying groups and sports leagues, among other groups. But many people didn't like having groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which called Israel a "apartheid state," as White House advisers.

Antisemitism and "Islamophobia and related forms of bias and discrimination" would both be dealt with by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Antisemitism and Islamophobia would be covered in federal DEI training, and small companies would be connected with community resources to learn how to fight "antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate."

People have criticized the plan because it doesn't include the IHRA term and because it talks about Islamophobia and other kinds of discrimination. But the White House said it "clearly supports the legitimacy of the State of Israel and condemns anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish State."

Overall, it looks like the Biden government has done a lot to fight antisemitism in the United States. The Jewish community, on the other hand, is still not sure what to think about the plan.

Written by Staff Reports

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