Last week, the White House released its national strategy to counter antisemitism, with hundreds of recommendations. Here’s what’s important to know:
➡️ The Biden administration has made dismantling antisemitism a national priority.
➡️ The White House consulted a broad and diverse range of voices from the Jewish community.
➡️ Their strategy recognizes that a future free from antisemitism is a future where all people are free and safe.
In February, Bend the Arc submitted a letter to the White House, which consolidated a decade of learning about fighting antisemitism as the largest American Jewish social justice organization that is focused exclusively on domestic policy issues. You can read our letter here.
The White House listened. Their new strategy recognizes that we cannot fight antisemitism in isolation.
When we address antisemitism alongside other forms of discrimination that make up the machinery of white nationalism and authoritarianism — like anti-Black racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and transphobia — that’s when we can build a thriving multiracial democracy with safety for all of us.
During this process, far too many organizations have focused on codifying or adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. We view that effort as an unnecessary and potentially harmful distraction from the real work of dismantling antisemitism. While we would have liked definitions to be left out of this strategy entirely, we’re pleased that the Biden administration has rejected the idea that government agencies should adopt the IHRA definition as authoritative policy.
Definitions don’t make people safe. Jews will be safe when our country firmly rejects conspiracy theories, ends the politics of fear and division, and commits itself to rejecting all forms of oppression.
That’s the work we’re doing here at Bend the Arc. Together, we’ll keep exposing politicians and pundits who embrace white nationalism and put our communities in danger. We’ll keep advocating for violence prevention, community safety networks, and solidarity between and across racial and religious differences. And we’ll keep fighting for a future free of antisemitism — where all of us are free and safe.
Jamie Beran, CEO
P.S. We’re working every day to fight for a future free of antisemitism and all forms of bigotry. Donate $18 — or whatever amount you're able to give — to power our Jewish movement for justice and liberation.