Partners Applauds Biden White House Strategy to Counter Antisemitism
Partners for Progressive Israel applauds the Administration of President Joe Biden for its carefully constructed plan to confront the growing scourge of antisemitism in America – “The U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism”. Please find below the statement issued in reaction to the plan by the Progressive Israel Network, of which we are a founding member.
Although much of the media talk leading up to the strategy’s publication concerned the definition of antisemitism as it pertains to Israel, the White House plan itself mentions Israel only sparingly and does not use the word “Zionism” at all. While the main concern of our organization is Israel, the White House approach is undeniably the correct one, its strategy rightly focusing on the greatest danger to Jewish Americans, that of white supremacy and neo-Nazism. President Biden’s appropriate decision to frame the issue around the 2017 “Unite the Right” torch event in Charlottesville, VA, signaled his Administration’s main concern.
The White House strategy document nonetheless did wade into the Israel debate and we are delighted that, when it did so, it chose an attitude of inclusivity and acceptance of the broad range of opinion on Israel within the Jewish American community. The strategy expresses support for “several definitions of antisemitism”, including the Nexus Document and “other such efforts”. In doing so, it rejects granting monopoly status to the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition, whose “examples” have too often been exploited to suppress legitimate criticism of Israeli government actions. In addition to the Nexus definition, we also wish to cite the important Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, as both have strong support in communities concerned with the issue of antisemitism.
Partners for Progressive Israel is proud to have played an important role in facilitating the dialogue around antisemitism in recent years, especially as it pertains to the Israel-Palestine question. We hosted the webinar “Anti-Semitism – What It Is, What It Isn’t” and a follow-up discussion, “IHRA and its Critics: Breaking Down the Establishment’s Favorite Definition of Antisemitism”, featuring a variety of opinions, from Jewish and Palestinian speakers. We, of course, will continue to remain highly engaged with this issue.