Biden Reveals Nation's First Plan to Combat Antisemitism
Thursday, June 8, 2023
As hostility toward Jewish people continues to spike in Arizona and nationally, the Biden administration has issued a National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.
Research by the Anti-Defamation League shows antisemitic beliefs are on the increase. Last year, 85% of Americans said they believe at least one anti-Jewish trope, compared to 61% in 2019.
Richard S. Hirschhaut, regional director of the American Jewish Committee-Los Angeles, said his group has noticed an increase in vandalism, harassment and assault. He called Biden's plan "unprecedented" and "historic."
"This is a strategy that not only recognizes the rise and the severity of antisemitism, but treats it as a full-on society problem," Hirschhaut explained. "Recognizing that antisemitism must be the concern and the business of all Americans."
The 60-page plan is a product of collaborative work by national leaders and Jewish organizations. It includes more than 100 new actions the Biden administration said it will take to protect Jewish communities across the nation.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, American Jews account for 2.4% of the U.S. population, but see 63% of the reported hate crimes motivated by religion.
Hirschhaut stressed it is important to highlight the numbers are often lower than actual incidents. He added the proactive vigilance and upgraded security protocols are needed.
"That speaks to a climate of fear and intimidation that has become commonplace in America," Hirschhaut asserted. "And that is what we hope this plan, the national strategy, will help to arrest and begin to turn the tide."
Antisemitism is what he called "gateway hate." Hirschhaut emphasized if left unchecked, it can lead to other groups and sectors of society also experiencing hostility and prejudice.
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