We Must Implement the US National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism

Jan 24, 2024 | Read Now, Voices

The White House released the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism last May in response to a dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents. No one could have foreseen that the strategy would be tested so soon by the response to the horrors of October 7.

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This summer, AJC began working with the Small Business Administration (SBA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other agencies to implement the National Strategy, signing a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with SBA. Reflective of this work, Federal agencies issued rapid statements of support and solidarity shortly after the October 7 attacks. The USDA even helped organize groups of American farmers and volunteers to travel to Israel to harvest crops that otherwise would have withered.

AJC has been in constant contact with the Department of Education to relay its concerns, flag cases, and help make sure that antisemitic incidents are recorded. The Department’s Office for Civil Rights has specified that Title VI’s protection from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin extends to students who are or are perceived to be Jewish. The Department released an updated complaint form to make filing a complaint easier and pivoted its commitment to hold listening sessions in schools to have “interventions” with the most problematic educational spaces in America.

AJC’s CEO Ted Deutch made recommendations to the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism on Capitol Hill in October. Since then, he has kept regular correspondence with Senators and Congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle, and has pushed them to fully implement the National Strategy and support Israel and the Jewish people.

Countering antisemitism is a whole-of-society effort. It requires all of us to act and make our voices heard. Indeed, the National Strategy does not just include action items for Federal agencies, it includes recommendations for every sector of American society.

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Since October 7, there have been frightening levels of antisemitism on college campuses. We must urge university presidents to take proactive steps against antisemitism on campus by adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, and taking concrete steps to protect Jews on campus, as recommended in the National Strategy.

IHRA’s Working Definition is the most concise, accurate, and globally recognized definition of antisemitism. It is a proven tool for recognizing and fighting antisemitism.

The National Strategy is a detailed, thoughtful document that dedicates a broad range of governmental and non-governmental resources to the fight against Jew hatred. It represents the most serious Presidential commitment to fighting antisemitism in history.

We have the toolkit. It’s time to use it.

View this Algemeiner Report from Janaury 24