newsAntisemitism

Biden administration ‘ramps up’ efforts to counter Jew-hatred on campuses

“President Biden is taking additional strong, decisive action today to fight the rise of antisemitism in America and protect Jewish students,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

U.S. President Joe Biden signs the guestbook at the Israeli president's residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2022. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden signs the guestbook at the Israeli president's residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2022. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.

The Biden administration is taking new actions to counter the “abhorrent rise of antisemitism” in the country, it stated on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, shortly before U.S. President Joe Biden spoke at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance commemoration.

“This year’s remembrance is particularly sobering, as it comes seven months after the terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” the White House stated. “Since that time, there has been an alarming rise of antisemitic incidents across the country and throughout the world—most recently, in instances of violence and hate during some protests at college campuses across the nation.”

The White House again touted its 2023 national strategy to counter antisemitism, which it called “the most comprehensive and ambitious U.S. government effort to counter antisemitism in American history.”

In year two of the strategy, the White House noted the U.S. Education Department’s “dear colleague” letter on Tuesday reminding schools and districts of their obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “to allegations of discrimination in schools based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including discrimination against students and school community members who are or are perceived to be Jewish, Israeli, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, Hindu or Palestinian.”

The White House also announced three other new actions.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and partners will build “an online campus safety resources guide and landing page to provide the range of financial, educational and technical assistance to campuses in one, easy-to-use website.”

The department will also create and share “best practices for community-based targeted violence and terrorism prevention to reduce these assaults and attacks,” the White House said. “Federal agencies will elevate ongoing efforts to address the fear felt in targeted communities and ensure that resources are widely known among communities that need them.”

The U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism will “convene technology firms to identify best practices to address antisemitic content online,” the White House added. “Departments and agencies will continue to provide technology companies with relevant information about symbols and themes associated with violent extremism online to help them enforce their terms of service.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised the announcement on social media. “President Biden is taking additional strong, decisive action today to fight the rise of antisemitism in America and protect Jewish students,” he wrote. “I fully support his action. We must fight antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that “it’s great to see that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will guide every U.S. school district and college on examples of antisemitic discrimination.”

“This new WhiteHouse initiative will help more people recognize Title VI violations and allow us to hold violators accountable,” Greenblatt added.

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center welcomed the new White House steps “to address the current crisis of antisemitism,” wrote Nathan Diament, executive director of the center. “We have been urging many of these actions (for a while). We need these positive steps to be taken aggressively and we need more.”

The plan is “welcome news,” the National Council of Jewish Women stated. “With anti-Jewish hate and violence surging, we are grateful for this support.”

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