Biden forms interagency group to draft antisemitism strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a surge in hateful rhetoric and violence, President Joe Biden on Monday formed a new interagency group to develop a national strategy to combat antisemitism, the White House announced.

The action comes at a time when anti-Jewish vitriol is being spread by prominent public figures.

Led by the White House Domestic Policy and National Security councils, the new group will consult with community leaders, government officials, lawmakers and activists as it drafts a national strategy to tackle antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

The action follows on Biden’s public commitment to healing the “soul of the nation” after seeing hate groups marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, with torches and swastikas in 2017, an episode that propelled his run for the White House.

“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,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Former President Donald Trump recently hosted Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust-denying white supremacist, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. The rapper Ye — formerly known as Kanye West — expressed love for Adolf Hitler in an interview. Basketball star Kyrie Irving appeared to promote an antisemitic film on social media. Neo-Nazi trolls are clamoring to return to Twitter as new CEO Elon Musk grants “amnesty” to suspended accounts.

The announcement comes a week after Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, played host to Jewish leaders to discuss the rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world.

The White House said the new group also will coordinate efforts to counter Islamophobia in the U.S.

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