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December 6, 2022 4:37 pm
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White House to Host Roundtable on Antisemitism

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avatar by Andrew Bernard

White House south side and gardens. Photo: Zach Rudisin/Wikimedia.

The Biden administration on Wednesday will host a roundtable at the White House with Jewish leaders on how to combat antisemitism, led by Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, and joined by Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Deborah Lipstadt, the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism.

The discussion will host leaders from 13 Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Jewish Committee (AJC), and Jewish on Campus. “The roundtable will include leaders of Jewish organizations fighting antisemitism that represents the wide range of Jewish community from students to seniors, and including Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox denominations,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

AJC’s CEO Ted Deutch said the meeting is proof that the Biden administration is taking the threat of antisemitism seriously. “Antisemitism is not a problem for the Jewish community alone. Venomous hate targeting Jews threatens American society, indeed our democracy,” Deutch said. “By convening this important roundtable, the Biden administration has demonstrated that it recognizes the severity of the problem and is committed to taking additional steps, in partnership with the Jewish community, to more effectively confront antisemitism in all its forms.”

President Biden is not expected to attend the meeting, but recently spoke out against antisemitism in response to Kanye West’s antisemitic media rants following his dinner at Mar-a-Lago with former President Donald Trump. “The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides,” Biden wrote.

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While West’s comments have been among the most prominent displays of public antisemitism in recent years, the rise in antisemitism in the US has also been documented by the FBI and Jewish groups. The Anti-Defamation League’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2021, published in March, recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States in that year, a 34% increase from 2020 and the highest number of such incidents that the ADL has recorded since it began tracking them in 1979.

 

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