Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff said Thursday that anti-Semitism divides Americans and threatens democracy. The Biden administration launched the first-ever National Anti-Semitism Strategy on Thursday. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
May 25 (UPI) -- The Biden administration Thursday released the first U.S. National Strategy to Counter Anti-Semitism.
The White House said it entails more than a hundred actions to raise awareness, protect Jewish communities and reverse the normalization of anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitic violence has spiked in recent years, hitting a record high in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The White House said that, according to the FBI, American Jews are the victims of 63% of reported religiously motivated hate crimes while representing just 2.4% of the U.S. population.
"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 anti-Semitic bile that was heard in Europe in the 1930s," the White House said in a statement. "That is why he has prioritized action to counter anti-Semitism and hate of all kinds."
In a speech launching the new strategy, second gentleman Douglas Emhoff said, "As the first Jewish spouse of a United States president or vice president, let me say this: We cannot stay silent. I will not remain silent. I will not stand idly by and allow anti-Semitism to poison our society."
Emhoff said that, at its core, anti-Semitism divides Americans, erodes trust in government and threatens democracy.
"No one should live in fear because of who they are," he said.
To implement the national strategy, the White House said a "whole-of-society plan" will be used with inputs from more than 1,000 stakeholders from every sector of American society.
In 2024, the U.S. Holocaust Museum will launch the first-ever U.S.-based Holocaust education research center.
The Department of Homeland Security will conduct a series of workshops on countering anti-Semitic and other hate-motivated violence. The Justice Department will engage with community-based groups throughout the country on the issue, and the FBI will conduct an annual threat assessment along with the National Counterterrorism Center.
Also, efforts will be made by the Education Department to counter anti-Semitism in schools as it launches an awareness campaign this year.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency also has developed a guide to protecting places of worship against targeted violence.
In 2022, President Joe Biden created an anti-Semitism task force to help coordinate government efforts amid a surge of violence and related rhetoric nationwide.