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Biden establishes government task force to combat antisemitism

President Biden will establish a task force to coordinate government efforts to address antisemitism and other forms of religious bigotry, the White House said Monday, in the wake of a rise in antisemitic rhetoric from high-profile public figures.

Biden is creating an interagency group led by the staff at the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. The group’s first order of business will be to formulate a national strategy to counter antisemitism.

“This strategy will raise understanding about antisemitism and the threat it poses to the Jewish community and all Americans, address antisemitic harassment and abuse both online and offline, seek to prevent antisemitic attacks and incidents, and encourage whole-of-society efforts to counter antisemitism and build a more inclusive nation,” Jean-Pierre said.

The group will meet with advocates, community leaders and members of Congress, the press secretary said.

“As President Biden has made clear: antisemitism has no place in America. All Americans should forcefully reject antisemitism — including Holocaust denial — wherever it exists,” Jean-Pierre said.

The announcement comes roughly one week after more than 100 lawmakers sent a letter asking Biden for a national strategy to combat antisemitism and a “whole-of-government” approach to threats and violence against Jewish communities. 

Strategic coordination would help agencies “share best practices, data, and intelligence; identify gaps in efforts; streamline overlapping activities and roles; and execute a unified national strategy,” the lawmakers said.  

There has been renewed concern about a rising antisemitic sentiment in the U.S. in recent weeks.

Former President Trump fueled the issue when he hosted the antisemitic rapper Ye and Nick Fuentes, an avowed white nationalist and Holocaust denier, for dinner at his residence last month. Trump has in recent weeks also suggested Jews who do not support Israel enough, or his political views, are disloyal, a common antisemitic trope.

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, then went on the right-wing radio show of Alex Jones and espoused antisemitic rhetoric attacking Jewish people and expressing appreciation for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff last week hosted a roundtable at the White House with community leaders to discuss the rise in antisemitism and how to combat it.

Source: The Hill

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