Biden administration warned it needs to fight anti-Semitism

President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2021. (Video screenshot)

The American Center for Law and Justice is calling on the Biden administration to start working on the scourge of anti-Semitism – even as “antisemitic attacks in some places have shot up over 400%.”

Biased actions and statements have been appearing even in the U.S. Congress, the organization reported, with Rep. Ilhan Omar comparing Israel – as well as the U.S. – to the “known terrorist organizations Hamas and the Taliban.”

She even doubled down, charging that her Jewish colleagues “haven’t been partners in justice, they haven’t been, you know, equally engaging in seeking justice around the world.”

Rep. Mike Waltz proposed, unsuccessfully, a censure against her.

“To say that Jewish members of Congress, that the Jewish people don’t understand injustice is beyond the pale,” he said. Further, “I’ve served as a Green Beret – I have fought all over the world. I have seen women at the hands of the Taliban abused, acid thrown on their faces, girls’ schools burned down – one even machine gunned with the girls still in them. So, to put the Taliban on the same level with Israel and the United States is jaw-droppingly offensive.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, now a senior counsel for global affairs with the ACLJ, said, of Omar, “This is intentional. She knows precisely what she is doing. She knows exactly who she’s tweaking and how she’s doing it. She has a deep view that is fundamentally at odds with the way America protects itself and its own people.”

In a letter to Biden, with copies to Secretary of State Tony Blinken and other leaders in Congress, the ACLJ’s Jordan Sekulow said, “According to the FBI, the majority of religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States are committed against Jewish people. That has been true for some time, and that number is on the rise, despite the fact that Jews make up less than 2 percent of the population. There is much work to be done to reverse these terrifying trends, and we encourage you to take all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of your Jewish citizens.”

The letter said the work beings with defining the problem, and adoption of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act would get that process started.

That would, the letter said, “allow both the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism in determining whether an investigation is warranted under their statutory anti-discrimination enforcement authority.”

The letter continued, “Around the world, antisemitic attacks in some places have shot up over 400% since the most recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East, with anti-Semites using the conflict as an excuse to ramp up their rhetoric and let out their hate. In cities across the country, hundreds of synagogues, Jewish community centers, kosher restaurants, Jewish owned businesses, and individual Jewish people have been targeted and attacked, beaten and bullied, cursed and demonized, all because they are Jewish. In every instance, the thin veneer of ‘anti-Zionism’ has been shattered by open expressions of antisemitism, including calling for the killing of Jews.”

He letter said the problem is on college campuses, too.

The letter said the solution is not criminalizing or containing offensive speech, but “it should just be labeled correctly.”

“What we are seeing today is criminal activity, not protected speech. For too long, the conflation of speech with conduct, and antisemitism with criticism of Israel, has allowed anti-Semites to commit heinous acts and then claim that they were merely expressing political views.”

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