WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced what he said is the most ambitious and comprehensive undertaking by the US government to fight hate, bias and violence against Jews, outlining more than 100 steps the administration and its partners can take to combat an alarming rise in antisemitism.
Speaking during a videotaped address at the White House, Biden said the first US National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism sends a “clear and forceful message” that “in America, evil will not win, hate will not prevail” and “the venom and violence of antisemitism will not be the story of our time.”
Months in the making, the strategy has four basic goals: increasing awareness and understanding of antisemitism, including its threat to America, and broadening appreciation of Jewish American heritage; improving safety and security for Jewish communities; reversing the normalisation of antisemitism and countering antisemitic discrimination; and building “cross-community” solidarity and collective action to counter hate.
Jewish organisations largely applauded the administration's effort.
“Jewish safety is inextricably linked to the safety of other communities and the health and vibrancy of our multiracial democracy," said Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “As we see antisemitism and extremism increasingly normalised in our politics and our society, the urgency of this framework is even more clear.”
The strategy also calls on Congress, state and local governments, tech companies and other private businesses, faith leaders and others to help combat bias and hate directed at Jews.
Tech companies are asked to establish “zero tolerance” policies against antisemitic content on their platforms. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has committed to launching an education research centre. Professional sports leagues and clubs are asked to use their platforms and clout to raise awareness. The White House public engagement office will invite members of the public to describe how they have supported Jewish, Muslim or other communities that are different from their own.
Doug Emhoff, who is married to Vice President Kamala Harris, said at the White House that hate crimes against Jews accounted for 63 per cent, or nearly two-thirds, of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States in 2022 although Jews make up just over two per cent of the overall population.
“I know the fear. I know the pain. I know the anger that Jews are living with because of this epidemic of hate," said Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a US president or vice president. He has become the administration's point-person on combatting antisemitism.
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