Jewish Groups Applaud Biden Administration’s ‘Embrace’ of IHRA Antisemitism Definition
Leading Jewish groups praised a Tuesday commitment from a US State Department official that the Biden Administration “embraces and champions” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of antisemitism.
“As prior US Administrations of both political stripes have done, the Biden Administration embraces and champions the working definition,” said Kara McDonald, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. “We applaud the growing number of countries and international bodies that apply it. We urge all that haven’t done so to do likewise.”
The comments were cheered by Jewish groups that have already adopted it. Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which made the decision in January, said in a statement that the Administration’s endorsement was “especially essential at a time when acts of antisemitism and Jew-hatred are on the rise at home and abroad.”
David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, called McDonald’s remarks “a solid reaffirmation of American leadership in the global fight against antisemitism.”
In 2019, the Trump Administration issued an executive order calling for the Working Definition to be considered by Title VI enforcement agencies, which include colleges and universities.
McDonald, who was speaking at an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting on antisemitism Tuesday, called it an “invaluable tool.”
“We must educate ourselves and our communities to recognize antisemitism in its many forms, so that we can call hate by its proper name and take effective action,” she said.