RJC: Biden Admin "Blew It" on Antisemitism Policy
Washington, DC – RJC CEO Matt Brooks today expressed deep disappointment in the Biden administration for not exclusively using the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the definition favored by mainstream Jewish organizations across the political spectrum, in his long-promised national strategy to counter antisemitism:
Joe Biden had a chance to take a strong stand against antisemitism and he blew it.
The IHRA definition of antisemitism is the definition endorsed by every mainstream Jewish organization. Biden’s own Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism has urged other countries to “embrace” it as an “integral” tool against the rising tide of Jew-hatred. The IHRA definition is indispensable because it recognizes that criticism of Israel is antisemitic when it delegitimizes, demonizes, or applies double standards to Israel.
After initial reports that its new strategy would enshrine the IHRA definition, the Biden administration came under heavy pressure from the anti-Israel left, forcing a delay in the roll-out. Now, hours before a Jewish holiday and in the waning days of Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House is attempting a last-minute straddle – undermining the IHRA definition by promoting alongside it an alternative definition that says applying double standards and singling out the Jewish state for criticism is not antisemitic.
This decision seriously weakens the White House strategy. It is yet another instance of Biden caving to the anti-Israel radicals who constitute a growing Democratic constituency at both the elected and grassroots levels. It’s clear that only a Republican president will fully embrace the IHRA definition and put the full force of the federal government behind the fight against antisemitism in all its forms.