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May 23, 2021 3:11 pm
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Five Leading US Jewish Groups Send Letter to Biden Calling for Action on Antisemitism

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Former US Vice President Joe Biden accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, during a speech delivered for the largely-virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque.

Five of America’s largest and most prominent Jewish organizations sent a letter on Friday to President Joe Biden asking for immediate action on antisemitism, as hate crimes against Jews have skyrocketed over the past two weeks amid the backdrop of the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA); the American Jewish Committee; the Anti-Defamation League; the Jewish Federations of North America; and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America all signed the letter, which expressed “grave concern over the recent surge of antisemitic attacks here in the United States and around the world, and over social media.”

“We fear that the way the conflict has been used to amplify antisemitic rhetoric, embolden dangerous actors and attack Jews and Jewish communities will have ramifications far beyond these past two weeks,” the letter said.

it noted “serious examples of physical violence include an attack against Jews outside of a restaurant in Los Angeles, on the streets of South Florida, and New York’s Times Square, and against synagogues in Tucson and Skokie.”

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It also noted that pro-Palestinian demonstrators were harassing pro-Israel demonstrators with racist and genocidal slogans like “Hitler was right” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.”

The signatories asked Biden to take several steps to combat the wave of antisemitism, urging him to “harness the authority of the Presidency and the United States Government to speak out loudly and clearly against antisemitism.”

They asked Biden to appoint an Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism worldwide, as well as a White House Jewish Liaison “to have clear channels of communication between the White House and the American Jewish community.”

The letter further requested Biden “convene — in person, if possible — stakeholders from the Jewish community, as well as key officials from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the FBI, to discuss the current events and threats, and action steps to address them.”

The signatories also asked Biden to take action against antisemitism on college campuses and invest in security enhancements for religious institutions.

“Thank you for your consideration and partnership in the ongoing effort to combat antisemitism,” the letter concluded.

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