US launches new plan to combat anti-Semitism, says ‘hate will not prevail’
US President Joe Biden announced the launch of new strategies the government will undertake to combat the hate, prejudice, and violence that Jews regularly face. In addition, he outlined more than 100 steps the administration and its partners can take to combat an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. He also said that America’s first National Strategy to Counter Anti-Semitism sends a “strong and clear message” that “in America, evil will not win, hate will not prevail” and “the poison and violence of anti-Semitism will not be the history of our time”. ‘.
Months in the making, the strategy has four basic goals: to increase awareness and understanding of anti-Semitism, including its threat to the United States, and to broaden appreciation of America’s Jewish heritage; improve the safety and security of Jewish communities; reverse the normalization of anti-Semitism and counter anti-Semitic discrimination; and build “cross-community” solidarity and collective action to counter hate. Jewish organizations largely applauded the administration’s effort.
“The safety of Jews is inextricably linked to the safety of other communities and the health and vitality of our multiracial democracy,” said Amy Spitalnick, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “As we see anti-Semitism and extremism become more and more normalized in our politics and our society, the urgency of this framework is even clearer.” The strategy also calls on Congress, state and local governments, tech companies and other private companies, religious leaders and others to help combat prejudice and hatred directed at Jews. Tech companies are being asked to establish “zero tolerance” policies against anti-Semitic content on their platforms. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has committed to launching an education research center.
Professional sports clubs and leagues are being asked to use their platforms and influence to raise awareness. The White House Office of Public Engagement 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 percent, or nearly two-thirds, of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States in 2022, although Jews make up just over 2% of the total population.
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“I know fear. I know the pain. I know the anger that Jews are living with because of this hate epidemic,” said Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a US president or vice president. He has become the administration’s point person for combating anti-Semitism. in California, he said he never imagined that this issue would become “my cause” as a second gentleman of the United States, “but now, more than ever, we must all rise to the challenge and meet this moment.” He said the plan will save lives.
“We are committed to making sure everyone can live openly, proudly and safely in their own communities,” Emhoff said. “It’s up to all of us to end the visceral hate we’re seeing across our nation. We can’t normalize this.” In a sign of the administration’s support for the strategy, Emhoff was flanked by White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, national security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the special envoy for monitor and combat antisemitism. She took a few minutes to watch her husband from the back of the room and gave her a thumbs up before leaving.
In his videotaped remarks, Biden said hate doesn’t go away, it only hides until he’s given oxygen. He recalled the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, noting that anti-Semitic chants by the participants led him to run for president in 2020. “Silence is complicity,” the president said. Last fall, Biden hosted a White House summit against hate-fueled violence.
Emhoff led a White House discussion with Jewish community leaders last December to discuss the rise in anti-Semitism and how to counter it. Days later, Biden created a government task force to develop the new strategy. Lipstadt said the launch of the strategy is a “historic moment in the modern fight against what is known as the world’s oldest hatred.” “For the first time, the United States government not only recognizes that anti-Semitism is not only a serious problem in this country, but also presents a clear plan to counter it,” he said.
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