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White House antisemitism strategy reportedly to mix IHRA, progressive definition

A definition that suggests it isn’t necessarily antisemitic to apply double standards to Israel is part of the current plan, according to a news report.

The White House. Photo by Menachem Wecker.
The White House. Photo by Menachem Wecker.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration have long touted their forthcoming strategy to combat antisemitism. In fact, Biden said recently that the plan will include “over 100 meaningful actions that government agencies are going to take to counter antisemitism.”

But according to Jewish Insider reporting, citing anonymous sources, the plan in its current form draws upon both the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition as well as the more progressive Nexus definition of antisemitism.

“Mainstream Jewish groups are lobbying the Biden administration to include only the IHRA definition, and some left-wing groups—which argue that the IHRA definition is overbroad in characterizing some critiques of Israel as antisemitic—seek to either exclude IHRA or reference other definitions alongside it,” the Jewish outlet reported. “Officials had also considered not mentioning any of the definitions, sources said.”

The White House’s draft plan currently highlights the IHRA definition, while the other definition, Nexus, is a “resource,” the unnamed source told Jewish Insider.

“Paying disproportionate attention to Israel and treating Israel differently than other countries is not prima facie proof of antisemitism,” according to the Nexus definition.

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