Jewish groups meet with White House to discuss the wave of antisemitism

Image source: Courtesy/Jewish groups meet with White House to discuss the wave of antisemitism

A coalition of Jewish organizations has various proposals for the administration of Biden, including a White House liaison, to counter the increase in the anti-Jewish prejudice.


Prominent Jewish organizations have applauded the tweet of President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning, which has denounced a spate of attacks on American Jews “disdainful” in recent weeks.


“We are quite glad that the president has taken up his bully band and hopefully will continue,” said Janice Weinman, CEO of Hadassah, one of the groups invited to attend this conference. Hadassah is a Zionist Women’s Organization of America.



“We are quite glad that the president has taken up his bully band and hopefully will continue,” said Janice Weinman, CEO of Hadassah, one of the groups invited to attend this conference. Hadassah is a Zionist Women’s Organization of America. She continued.


Emerging hate crime events, including synagogue destruction and street assaults, have been recorded around the US, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago Suburb, and South Florida after there were massive protests against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip. Over the weekend, the New York Police Division looked for three defendants charged with chanting anti-semitic slurs from four males outside the synagogue before damaging a car and attacked a baseball bat against two Jewish youths.


Mosques also reported anti-Muslim vandalism last month, including a prayer place in Brooklyn painted with the sentence, “Death to Palestine.” Prominent Palestinian and Muslim activists have also spoken against the outbreak of violence.


In a letter to the government of Biden on Friday, Hadassah, together with four other legacy Jewish organizations — the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America — gave various recommendations on combatting antisemitism.


Among them: to appoint an ambassador to monitor and respond to antisemitism; a move that the groups consider would signal to other countries that the US is serious in this initiative; to reestablish the position of a Jewish liaison in The White House which would be in contact with various Jewish communities and leaders;


Karen Paikin Barall, Hadassah’s Government Relations Director, said White House officers and Homeland Security Department personnel listened to the group’s concerns at the meeting on Monday, and their recommendations were ‘positively accepted.’


“It is apparent that the major spikes in antisemitic attacks in the United States and around the world are attracted to the President’s interest,” she said, adding that the groups “will continue to work with the government of Biden to implement the comprehensive methods in full.”


One of the White House officials replied last week that they would work together in condemning and responding to the “disturbing increase” of events and that senior officials will engage with Jewish groups to tackle antisemitism, which has been on the rise in Gaza since early May.


Holly Huffnagle, director of the American Jewish Committee to combat antisemitism, thanked Biden for ending threats against the Jewish community.


But it also stated that the groups felt that the recent conflict had to be combined to “strengthen anti-Semitic language and enforce harmful behavior and target Jews and Jewish communities” and that it “would have implications far beyond the last two weeks.”


“We did not want this letter to be written. We wish that hadn’t been necessary. But practically that deafening quiet existed, “Huffnagle remarked that. He said. “It was almost like nobody wanted to say anything when people had talked out before when it was a white nationalist hatred. It’s disturbing for the Jewish community because they wonder, wait, where are our friends?”


The profound safety worry is not unjustified. Antisemitic incidents, including attacks and harassment against Jewish organizations such as schools and synagogues, rose by 40% from 2019 to 2020, determined by the Anti-Defamation League.


In its research, “The State of antisemitism in America2020,” the American Jewish Committee found that 9 out of ten Americans felt that antisemitism in the country is a problem.


The managing director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, a non-partisan public policy branch of the largest orthodox Jewish organization‚ Nathan Diament, said it was disheartening that certain political leaders have condemned antisemitism slowly.


“The message that was right and welcomed in the president’s tweet this morning,” he remarked.


“Many of our leaders, members of Congress have been very slow in speaking with the same strength and speed to speak out against these anti-Jewish attacks as they rightfully decried assaults against Asian Americans and others.”


Mitch Silber, executive director of the Community security initiative to help safeguard Jewish institutions in the New York area, stressed that grassroots community groups must be supported to ensure safe schools and institutions.


But he added he would like the White House to promote a broader inter-religious discourse of Jewish and Muslim groups with other religious communities that may “create strong bonds” in the face of partial attacks that strike any population.


“No matter how tense things are in the Middle East, we must agree that violence is not acceptable here under any circumstances,” Silber said.


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