Opinion

Biden decries antisemitism yet funds it

A serious fight against Jew-hatred will require another president and another administration.

U.S. President Joe Biden relaunches the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Feb. 15, 2021. Source: Twitter.
U.S. President Joe Biden relaunches the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Feb. 15, 2021. Source: Twitter.
Kenneth Levin
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist, historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.

On May 25, President Joe Biden announced a plan to combat antisemitism and declared that “the venom and violence of antisemitism will not be the story of our time.”

Yet Biden is underwriting antisemitism.

In 2018, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, which stopped economic aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as the P.A. continues its “pay-to-slay” policy of stipends for terrorists who kill Jewish Israelis and for the terrorists’ families.

Such stipends, determined according to the number of Jews killed or injured, have amounted to about $300 million a year.

The Biden administration has circumvented the Taylor Force Act, distributing close to a billion dollars to the P.A.

The P.A. promotes antisemitism in its media, mosques and schools. It claims that Jews have no historical connection to the Land of Israel and are colonial usurpers who stole the land from the Palestinians. P.A. propaganda asserts that it is the duty of Palestinian children to dedicate themselves to attacking Israelis and pursuing Israel’s destruction.

The cash Biden has given the P.A. underwrites this antisemitic incitement.

Biden has also resumed payments to the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, which had been stopped by the Trump administration.

UNRWA provides various services to refugees, including education that teaches Jew-hatred. The organization has allowed its facilities in Gaza to be used as recruiting, training grounds and armories for terrorists. Significant numbers of its teachers and other employees in Gaza are affiliated with Hamas, which claims that the slaughter of all the world’s Jews is its religious duty. Nonetheless, the Biden administration has pumped more than $600 million into the organization. 

Biden is also pursuing a new nuclear agreement with Iran, which will ultimately allow the theocracy to possess nuclear weapons. In the interim, the mullahs will receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

The Iranian regime has repeatedly stated that it is determined to destroy Israel. It supports various entities dedicated to the same end. It has also been involved in the murder and attempted murder of Jews around the world.

Biden has already cut back on enforcement of sanctions on Iran, allowing it to sell billions of dollars-worth of oil to finance its nuclear program and support for terrorism. Recipients of that support include Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Biden administration has supported Hezbollah directly, pressuring the previous Israeli government to cede some of Israel’s offshore assets and gas and oil deposits to Lebanon. Hezbollah, which dominates Lebanon, was a major beneficiary. The terror group also benefits militarily from U.S. subsidies and equipment provided to the Lebanese army.

Iran has armed Hezbollah with an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles. The terror group has echoed Hamas’ commitment to murdering not just Israeli Jews but all Jews. Its chief Hassan Nasrallah has said that he would like all the world’s Jews to move to Israel, since it would save Hezbollah the trouble of tracking them down worldwide.

In fact, in collusion with Iran, Hezbollah has tracked some Jews down across the globe. It targeted the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 Jews and non-Jews, in 1994. It also bombed the Israeli embassy in the same city two years earlier, murdering 29.

In addition to its subsidizing of antisemitism and attacks on Jews, the Biden administration’s program for countering antisemitism falls woefully short as an action agenda.

For example, while it acknowledges the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the program “welcomes and appreciates” the so-called Nexus Document. The Nexus definition of antisemitism rejects the IHRA’s definition of anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism. Nexus also gives wide latitude to those who challenge the Jewish right to national self-determination and advocate dismantling the Jewish state.

Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Union’s coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, recently observed of the IHRA definition, which has been endorsed by the European Commission, “For us it is very clear. Any definition that does not include Israel-related antisemitism is void of purpose.”

Biden’s hedging on the IHRA definition also has the negative effect of potentially undermining its adoption by the many entities—including the State Department and other federal agencies, most American states, numerous foreign governments, educational institutions, corporations and other bodies—that have embraced it, and by the many others that are considering doing so.

This hedging on the IHRA definition of antisemitism was clearly aimed at mollifying progressive antisemites in the Democratic Party, who, in fact, support groups that militate for Israel’s annihilation and oppose Jewish self-determination.

It is telling that the only specific examples of antisemitism cited in the program and the White House statement on it are examples of far-right antisemitism. Other sources of Jew-hatred, including those from the left, are ignored.

Moreover, the program conflates antisemitism with other forms of bias. Clearly, the Biden administration chose not to focus on the particular characteristics and dangers posed by antisemitism.

It is noteworthy in this regard that among the organizations the program names as allies in the fight against antisemitism is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). This group has been named by the FBI as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HFL) case. A federal court found that HFL and a number of its key figures provided material support to Hamas.

On May 23, two days before the Biden program was announced, CAIR defended the infamous antisemitic—and anti-American—screed delivered by Fatima Mousa Mohammed at the CUNY law school commencement several weeks earlier.

President Biden can make any number of public statements condemning antisemitism. In and of themselves, such statements are welcome.

Unfortunately, however, it is clear that ending federal funding of antisemitic entities and establishing a serious federal program to combat rising antisemitism in America will require another president and another administration.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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