US President Joe Biden announced the first national strategy to combat antisemitism in a statement on Friday ahead of Jewish American Heritage Month which is marked in May.
The outline includes "comprehensive actions the Federal Government will undertake" to combat antisemitism online and in schools and universities as well as other places in American life. The outline also seeks to prevent antisemitic attacks and build solidarity against antisemitism.
In his statement, Biden said that this Jewish American Heritage Month, Americans will "celebrate the enduring heritage of Jewish Americans, whose values, culture, and contributions have shaped our character as a Nation."
Biden related how Jewish refugees went to the US to flee oppression and discrimination for centuries and how they fought for religious freedom. As examples, Biden mentioned Jewish Union soldiers who celebrated Passover during the Civil War and Jewish involvement in suffragist movements and the Civil Rights Movement.
"Jewish Americans continue to enrich every part of American life."US President Joe Biden
"Jewish Americans continue to enrich every part of American life as educators and entrepreneurs, athletes and artists, scientists and entertainers, public officials and activists, labor and community leaders, diplomats and military service members, public health heroes, and more," he said. "In my own life, the Jewish community has been a tremendous source of friendship, guidance, and strength through seasons of pain and seasons of joy."
Antisemitism is rising in the US
He also discussed the rising antisemitism in the US which has seen attacks on Synagogues such as the Colleyville incident in January of 2022 as well as swastika graffiti on Jewish properties. Biden also mentioned how Jews are harassed and attacked on university campuses and in the streets as well as how antisemitic conspiracy theories are spread online and are aided by celebrities spreading them.
"These acts are unconscionable and despicable," he said. "They carry with them terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in human history. Not only are they a strike against Jews, but they are also a threat to other minority communities and a stain on the soul of our Nation."
Biden ended with a call to the people of the US to help confront antisemitism and "create a culture of respect."
Biden's Friday statement echoed an op-ed he wrote for CNN at the beginning of April in honor of Passover. In the op-ed, he condemned antisemitism and called for the American people to help combat the phenomenon.
American Jewish Heritage Month has been marked every May since 2006 when then-president George W. Bush proclaimed it so. The month is marked with a series of events throughout celebrating different aspects of Jewish life in the US.