ACLJ Makes Direct Demand to President Biden To Support Passage of the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” and Stop the Rising Tide of Hateful Antisemitic Attacks
Disgusting displays of antisemitism, including attacks on innocent Jewish Americans, are on the rise in the United States.
From college campuses to our city streets, antisemitism is seething, attempting to normalize itself, even among the so-called woke. None of this should come as a surprise when we have blatantly antisemitic Members of Congress spewing their dangerous rhetoric without repercussion.
We just sent a letter directly to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and copied Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, and House Minority Leader McCarthy, demanding action to stop antisemitic attacks here in the U.S. and passage of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act:
We write to express our grave concern over the recent flood of antisemitic attacks around the country and around the world. We appreciate your statements strongly condemning the horrific behavior we have seen,
Specifically, we request that your administration make it a priority to pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which would allow both the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism in determining whether an investigation is warranted under their statutory anti-discrimination enforcement authority.
We previously told you that Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted out that U.S. support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” referring to the racist belief that Jews control the money. We called for her to be censured, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi continually makes excuses for Rep. Omar and the rest of the antisemitic “Squad.”
We also recently reported that Rep. Omar had compared America and Israel to terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Taliban. Even when given the opportunity to take back her offensive, hateful comments, we told you how Rep. Omar was unapologetic. And Rep. Rashida Tlaib openly flaunts her own desire to see Israel delegitimized and her support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
For his part, President Joe Biden did release a statement verbally condemning antisemitism, but has done little in terms of actually putting a stop to it. As our letter said, we appreciate the President’s words, “but this is a time that calls for action, not just words.” An official release on the White House website does little to stop the antisemitic attacks we’ve witnessed on our streets and the venomous behavior exhibited by members of our government.
Our letter pointed out a report from CBS News that, according to the FBI, hate crimes against Jewish people outnumber all others in the United States. And while the Biden Administration continues to tout itself as antiracist and dedicated to fighting hate, it’s seemingly turning a blind eye to the racist antisemitism within its own hallowed halls. The President must combat ALL forms of racism.
As our letter stated:
Our government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from acts of hate and bigotry motivated by discriminatory animus – including antisemitism – and must be given the tools to do so. Valid monitoring, informed analysis and investigation, and effective policy-making all require uniform definitions. It is no longer acceptable for officials charged with protecting people from
antisemitism to not have a definition of antisemitism that they can use in making their determinations. It is equally unacceptable to insist on a definition of antisemitism that does not include even the most troubling of anti-Zionist sentiments.
To be clear, antisemitic speech should not be criminalized or contained; it should just be labeled correctly. But what we are seeing today is criminal activity, not protected speech. For too long, the conflation of speech with conduct, and antisemitism with criticism of Israel, has allowed antisemites to commit heinous acts and then claim that they were merely expressing political views. When anti-Zionism crosses over into antisemitic acts, it can and should be stopped.
The ACLJ is dedicated to defending the interests of America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, and to protecting the rights and safety of Jewish people in America. It is imperative that the Biden Administration take our letter seriously and pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. And Speaker Pelosi must censure antisemitic Representatives in her own party.