FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Releases First-Ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism

3 days ago

Administration announces 100 new actions and over 100 calls to action to combat antisemitism, including new actions to counter antisemitism on college campuses and online; whole-of-society strategy includes new stakeholder commitments.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. This strategy includes over 100 new actions the Administration will take to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protect Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, and build cross-community solidarity.  

President Biden decided to run for President after what we all saw in Charlottesville in 2017, when Neo-Nazis marched from the shadows spewing the same antisemitic bile that was heard in Europe in the 1930s. That is why he has prioritized action to counter antisemitism and hate of all kinds.

The United States has recently experienced an alarming increase in antisemitic incidents, among other acts of hatred. American Jews account for 2.4% of the U.S. population, but they are the victims of 63% of reported religiously motivated hate crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

While antisemitic incidents most directly and intensely affect the Jewish community, antisemitism threatens all of us. Antisemitic conspiracy theories fuel other forms of hatred, discrimination, and bias—including discrimination against other religious minorities, racism, sexism, and anti-LGBTQI+ hate. Antisemitism seeks to divide Americans from one another, erodes trust in government and nongovernmental institutions, and undermines our democracy.

That is why, in December, President Biden established the Interagency Policy Committee on Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Related Forms of Bias and Discrimination, led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and National Security Council. As its first order of business, President Biden tasked this group with producing the first-ever U.S. national strategy to counter antisemitism in the United States.

This national strategy sets forth a whole-of-society plan that both meets this moment of escalating hatred and lays the foundation for reducing antisemitism over time. Informed by input from over 1,000 stakeholders from every sector of American society, it outlines over 100 new actions that Executive Branch agencies have committed to take in order to counter antisemitism—all of which will be completed within a year. The strategy also calls on Congress to enact legislation that would help counter antisemitism and urges every sector of society to mobilize against this age-old hatred, including state and local governments, civil society, schools and academic institutions, the tech sector, businesses, and diverse religious communities.

To support the whole-of-society call to action, today the Biden-Harris Administration also announced commitments to counter antisemitism and build cross-community solidarity by organizations across the private sector, civil society, religious and multi-faith communities, and higher education. Today’s announcements include commitments from the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Asian American Foundation, Black Jewish Entertainment Alliance, College of William & Mary, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Foundation to Combat Antisemitism alongside six professional sports leagues, Interfaith Alliance, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, National Action Network, National Basketball Players Association, National Urban League, Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Lab at American University, Recording Academy, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, Sikh Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center, and UnidosUS. The Administration calls on additional organizations to join this existing group in establishing their own impactful initiatives to counter antisemitism.

The Biden-Harris Administration will ensure the strategy’s effective implementation and leverage it to advance our fight against other forms of hate. In addition, the strategy reaffirms the United States’ unshakable commitment to the State of Israel’s right to exist, its legitimacy, and its security—and makes clear that when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, that is antisemitism.

To read the full strategy, all agency actions, and the Administration’s calls to action, click here. Among other steps, the Biden-Harris Administration will:

Pillar 1: Increase awareness and understanding of antisemitism, including its threat to America, and broaden appreciation of Jewish American heritage

Far too many Americans do not recognize antisemitism and understand its threat to our society. The U.S. government will harness our collective resources to increase education about antisemitism and its threat to democracy, the Holocaust, and Jewish contributions to American society.

In 2024, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will launch the first-ever U.S.-based Holocaust education research center. Once the new center is fully operational, it will undertake systematic, rigorous, and actionable research into teaching and learning about the Holocaust and study the impact and effectiveness of Holocaust education in the U.S. Agencies will also create new materials on contemporary antisemitism and Jewish American heritage and history. The U.S. government will also bolster research on antisemitism, its impact on American society, and its intersection with other forms of hate through funding opportunities, resources, and outreach from several agencies.

Furthermore, the U.S. government will raise awareness on these topics both inside and outside of classroom environments, including in the workplace, in museums and libraries, and in the media. Federal agencies will incorporate information about antisemitic bias and discrimination and about workplace religious accommodations into their training programs. Additionally, the Office of Personnel Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Office of Management and Budget will conduct learning sessions for agency diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility officers on antisemitism and related forms of discrimination, as well as workplace religious accommodations.

Pillar No. 2: Improve safety and security for Jewish communities

All Americans deserve to practice their faith freely and live their lives without the fear of attack or harassment. Many Jews in America do not have that peace of mind. Violent attacks against Jews are increasing. Verbal harassment, bomb threats, and vandalism against Jewish people, synagogues, and community institutions remain prevalent. A more holistic approach to improve safety and security for Jewish and other vulnerable communities will help prevent violence against Jewish communities in the near term and reduce the threat in the future.

America cannot effectively counter antisemitism if we lack robust data on the phenomenon, online and in our communities. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with the DPC and National Security Council (NSC), will launch an interagency effort to understand and eliminate the impediments to reporting of hate incidents.

The Administration will continue to prioritize combating hate and discrimination in all its forms, including hate crimes, and to ensure robust engagement between law enforcement, government leaders, civil rights organizations, and the communities they serve. Among other actions, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct a series of workshops on countering antisemitic and other forms of hate-motivated violence against communities impacted by targeted violence. Department of Justice (DOJ) offices across the country will undertake targeted engagement with community-based groups including youth, faith leaders, cultural leaders, and civil rights organizers from Jewish communities and other communities victimized by hate crimes.

We will join Americans in expanding community-based prevention efforts to reach and guide individuals off the pathway to antisemitic violence. NSC will amplify financial, technical, and training assistance offered to state and local partners establishing and expanding these community-based prevention efforts.

To improve threat information sharing between law enforcement and online platforms, the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center will conduct an annual threat assessment on antisemitic drivers of transnational violent extremism that can be shared with technology companies and other nongovernmental partners. A declassified version of the first threat assessment, released today, is available here. And to address foreign support for antisemitism in the U.S., the NSC will review the authorities and capabilities of federal agencies to target transnational networks seeking to foster antisemitism in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Also today, DHS and DOJ published a resource guide titled “Protecting Places of Worship: Six Steps to Enhance Security Against Targeted Violence,” outlining actions Jewish and other faith-based organizations and houses of worship can take to increase security through easily implementable steps that sustain an open and welcoming environment. And the Administration calls on Congress to fully fund its FY24 budget request of $360 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)—$55 million above the FY23 enacted amount.

Pillar 3: Reverse the normalization of antisemitism and counter antisemitic discrimination

One of the most alarming aspects of the current wave of antisemitism is the extent to which it has become “normalized.” Antisemitic conspiracy theories and content are rampant online and in public spaces. High-profile politicians, athletes, celebrities, and others have used their influential platforms to spread conspiracy theories and Holocaust denialism.

The Biden-Harris Administration will, first and foremost, continue speaking out clearly and forcefully against antisemitism and those who peddle it, and urge all sectors of society to do the same. In addition, the U.S. Government will take steps wherever it can to tackle the rise of antisemitism online. We also call on Congress to hold social media platforms accountable for spreading hate-fueled violence, including antisemitism; impose much stronger transparency requirements on online platforms; and pass legislation requiring platforms to enable timely and robust public interest research, including on the spread of antisemitism and other forms of hate.

The Biden-Harris Administration also encourages all online platforms to independently commit to taking several actions that will counter antisemitism, including: ensuring terms of service and community standards explicitly cover antisemitism; adopting zero-tolerance for hate speech terms of service and community standards and permanently banning repeat offenders of these policies; investing in the human and technical resources necessary to enable vigorous and timely enforcement of their terms of service and community standards; improving their capabilities to stop recommending and de-rank antisemitic and other hateful content; increasing the transparency of their algorithmic recommendation systems and data; treating antisemitism as a distinct category in transparency reports; and more.

The government will also counter antisemitism in K-12 schools and on college campuses. The Department of Education (ED) will launch an Antisemitism Awareness Campaign in 2023. Today, ED is issuing a Dear Colleague Letter to schools, reminding them of their legal obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to address complaints of discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, or national origin, including shared ancestry, such as Jewish ancestry, and ethnic characteristics. Senior ED officials, along with other federal partners and influencers, will visit schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs) that are effectively addressing antisemitism to amplify their efforts, as well as schools and IHEs that need help responding to an uptick in antisemitic activity.

Federal agencies also commit to using and raising awareness about federal laws prohibiting antisemitic discrimination to ensure that stakeholders understand these legal obligations and that affected individuals know how to file complaints. For example, today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a letter to the over 200 federally-funded Fair Housing Initiatives Programs and Fair Housing Assistance Programs on how to identify and counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination in housing. Eight agencies—the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation, and Treasury—will produce fact sheets explaining that Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including certain antisemitic and related forms of discrimination and bias in federally funded programs and activities.

Agencies will promote religious communities’ equitable access to government programs.  The Department of Agriculture will work to ensureequal access to all USDA feeding programs for USDA customers with religious dietary needs, including kosher and halal dietary needs. The Biden-Harris Administration will ensure that appropriate accommodations are made for religious practices, including Jewish observance. To this end, the EEOC will broadly disseminate its materials on nondiscrimination and religious accommodations in the workplace to employers and employees, including federal agencies, nongovernmental employers, and workplace Employee Resource Groups.

Pillar 4: Build cross-community solidarity and collective action to counter hate

Any effort to counter antisemitism must be grounded in work that unites Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs to work in common purpose to stand united against hate. The Administration will identify and support the scaling of the most effective cross-community, solidarity-building efforts to counter hate, including antisemitism. The White House Office of Public Engagement will launch the Ally Challenge, inviting Americans to describe their acts of allyship with Jewish or other communities that are not their own.

To expand and mobilize multi-faith partnerships, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, alongside federal agencies and diverse faith leaders,will produce a toolkit for faith communities on standing in solidarity with other religious communities to counter antisemitism and other forms of hate.

The strategy builds upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong record of support for Jewish Americans and action to counter antisemitism:

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