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Politics The Biden administration’s half-hearted fight against antisemitism

18:33  11 june  2021
18:33  11 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Jewish community confronts rising antisemitism fueled by Gaza conflict

  Jewish community confronts rising antisemitism fueled by Gaza conflict Antisemitism, which has been rising in the U.S. in recent years, has surged in the wake of May's deadly 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. "Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone chasing me, with their fist raised back, looking to punch me in the face. Before I could even react … I was surrounded by a whole group," Borgen told ABC News.

Sometimes, what leaders don’t say, or do, echoes loudest. President Joe Biden’s response to May’s upsurge in antisemitic incidents is a prime example.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

The president has been widely praised by major Jewish organizations and many individuals concerned about antisemitism for his May 28 statement, which said, among other things, “These attacks are despicable, unconscionable, un-American, and they must stop.” That was a good sentence.

However, the widely ignored thorn relates to the next sentence: “I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice.” What matters here is the follow-up. And that’s where people would be wise to pause the cheering until there’s proof that this administration is committed to backing up that promise.

Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon

  Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon WINDSOR, England (AP) — President Joe Biden and his aviator sunglasses met Queen Elizabeth II on bright Sunday afternoon. The queen hosted the president and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, her royal residence near London. Biden flew to London after wrapping up his participation in a three-day summit of leaders of the world's wealthy democracies in Cornwall, in southwestern England. He arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and was ferried to the queen in a black Range Rover.

For starters, we’re past the point where lofty words are sufficient. The time to try beating back antisemitism with statements alone was early 2019. At that point, the still new Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, had three antisemitism scandals in quick succession, as she repeatedly violated the taboo against open antisemitism and brazened out censure. Biden chose to remain silent, as did many congressional Democrats. Now, more than two years of shattered norms later, American Jews are living with the very real and dangerous consequences of that collective shrug.

During May, American Jews were assaulted for walking while wearing a kippah in Manhattan and being Jewish while eating sushi in Los Angeles, among numerous nationwide attacks on synagogues and Jewish individuals. Notably, Biden announced no acts of solidarity against this anti-Jewish discrimination.

Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon

  Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon WINDSOR, England (AP) — President Joe Biden and his aviator sunglasses met Queen Elizabeth II on bright Sunday afternoon. The queen hosted the president and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, her royal residence near London. Biden flew to London after wrapping up his participation in a three-day summit of leaders of the world's wealthy democracies in Cornwall, in southwestern England. He arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and was ferried to the queen in a black Range Rover.

Consider, for example, that when Germany’s antisemitism commissioner announced in 2019 that he couldn’t recommend Jews always wear a kippah, a German newspaper printed a cut-out kippah that non-Jews could wear in solidarity with Germany’s Jews. In that spirit, Biden could have announced he would wear a kippah for a week and encouraged other Americans to do likewise. Biden could have invited Jewish hate crime victims to the White House for an event. The president could have publicly urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send him antisemitic hate crime legislation to sign. As the head of his party, Biden also could have declared that Jew hate has no home in the Democratic Party. He has done none of those things.

Instead, Biden passed the baton to his attorney general. Biden’s written statement explains that the Department of Justice “will be deploying all of the tools at its disposal to combat hate crimes.” Attorney General Merrick Garland had actually delineated those tools a day earlier, in an update of his March directive to improve bureaucratic efficiency for all hate crimes. That is to say, Garland’s isn’t a targeted response to antisemitic hate crimes. The words “Jews” and “antisemitism” never appear in Garland’s memo at all.

Obama appears to fault Trump for uptick in antisemitism

  Obama appears to fault Trump for uptick in antisemitism Former President Barack Obama appeared to fault former President Donald Trump for a recent rise in antisemitic incidents throughout the United States. © Provided by Washington Examiner In an email interview with Jewish Insider, published on Monday, Obama spoke about "negative and divisive trends" in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which led to multiple deaths and created a political shockwave in the country.

Now, it’s certainly possible that American Jews, who were the victims of 60.2% of anti-religious hate crimes in 2019 while representing about 2% of the population, will benefit from Garland’s changes, like other targeted minority groups. Still, consider the contrast with Attorney General William Barr. In January 2020, Barr traveled to Brooklyn to meet with Orthodox Jewish communal leaders after 2019’s uptick in antisemitic hate crimes, which included violent attacks in Poway, Jersey City, and Monsey, hosted a symposium about antisemitism, and issued a memorandum specifically responsive to antisemitism. After this May, when antisemitic incidents surged by 80%, surely Garland could have done something similar.

An administration that truly wouldn’t “allow” American Jews to be “intimidated or attacked” would be doing more. Since Biden and his appointees aren’t, concerned citizens should act. Consider contacting your members of Congress and encouraging them to support S. 1939 (H.R. 3515 is the companion bill in the House), if they aren’t already.

Senate passes resolution condemning recent rise in antisemitic attacks

  Senate passes resolution condemning recent rise in antisemitic attacks The Senate on Monday passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the recent rise in antisemitic violence.The resolution was introduced in May by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism.The resolution cited multiple antisemitic incidents from around the world including Jewish people in London being verbally harassed, a German synagogue being hit with rocks and an attack on Jewish diners in California.The resolution also cited apparent antisemitic statements from world leaders like Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.S. Res.

The Preventing Antisemitic Hate Crimes Act calls on the Department of Justice to expedite the review of antisemitic hate crimes. The attorney general would issue guidance to law enforcement agencies, “raising awareness of antisemitic hate crimes and reaching victims.” The attorney general would also report to Congress about antisemitic hate crimes every 90 days. Finally, this bill would increase “penalties for repeat violent crime offenders” so that federal law is a true deterrent.

If open Jew hatred, including violent antisemitism, is instead normalized, America itself will be disfigured.

Melissa Langsam Braunstein (@slowhoneybee) is a former State Department speechwriter and an independent writer in Washington, D.C.

Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, anti-Semitism, Jews, Legislation

Original Author: Melissa Langsam Braunstein

Original Location: The Biden administration’s half-hearted fight against antisemitism

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usr: 1
This is interesting!