- The White House’s new strategy to combat antisemitism is also advancing the Biden administration’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) agenda into sports leagues, veteran programs and federal agencies.
- Multiple departments have all been tasked with expanding DEI programs to go beyond targeting antisemitism.
- “True reform would mean addressing the problems that exist within DEI, rather than just adding another group to a structure which is often failing,” Kenneth Marcus, the founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Biden administration’s strategy to combat antisemitism includes efforts to enhance its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, some of which aren’t related to Jews or anti-Jewish hate.
The administration rolled out the “U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism” Thursday, with over 100 recommendations and initiatives for multiple departments, institutions and society-wide stakeholders such as sports teams. However, the strategy also includes guidance that would increase the number of DEI initiatives under the administration, while also addressing issues unrelated to antisemitism such as anti-LGBT discrimination and “white supremacy.”
“Antisemitism threatens not only the Jewish community, but all Americans,” Biden wrote in a statement. “People who peddle these antisemitic conspiracy theories and fuel racial, ethnic, and religious hatred against Jews also target other communities—including Black and brown Americans; Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; LGBTQI+ individuals; Muslim Americans; women and girls; and so many others. Our intelligence agencies have determined that domestic terrorism rooted in white supremacy—including antisemitism—is the greatest terrorist threat to our Homeland today.”
The White House tasked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a series of online workshops to fight “hate-motivated violence” beyond just antisemitism.
The workshops will be put into effect by November 2023, and the White House argues they will help the department find additional ways to protect and “assist the Jewish community” along with other groups the Biden administration believes need additional protection from discrimination.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is also taking the opportunity to further diversify, according to the plan. The VA will be launching new “educational programs that highlight the diversity of the veteran population” in September of this year.
The strategy further notes that the programs will include “contributions of Jewish veterans and Jewish VA employees,” while helping veterans speak out and fight all “hate-biased incidents.” Additionally, the VA is going to create training regarding antisemitism as well as “anti-Muslim bias, anti-Sikh bias, and related forms of bias and discrimination” for the department’s Community Clergy Training Program, which trains religious leaders on how to help re-integrate veterans back into civilian life.
The strategy also emphasized U.S. sports teams and their role in fighting bias and discrimination, according to the plan. The White House consulted the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit Sports Working Group to create tools for athletes and sports leagues.
Fan clubs and organizations are encouraged to “adopt fan charters that contain anti-hate clauses” and create “honors or awards for combating hate, and for promoting inclusivity, accountability, and respect as best practices in sport.”
Kenneth Marcus, the founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that several of the proposed initiatives were already in effect and wouldn’t do much to help antisemitism.
“True reform would mean addressing the problems that exist within DEI, rather than just adding another group to a structure which is often failing,” Marcus said.
Unions and small businesses are featured in the plan as well, with the Department of Labor planning to give its employees “palm cards” so union members can learn to spot discrimination as well as distributing “model resources” about how “countering … discrimination relates to workers’ rights” by the fall. The Small Business Administration will connect owners with “community-based organizations” that offer “training and resources” on how to respond to “forms of hate.”
Several Jewish groups expressed dissatisfaction with Biden’s strategy, arguing that it didn’t focus enough on the Jewish community’s concerns or suggestions.
Marcus told the DCNF that overall the White House’s plan contained “a lot of fluff” and was “stronger on rhetoric than substance.”
“While we do have an excellent definition of anti-Semitism that was used during the Bush, Obama, and Trump years, as well as earlier in this administration, unfortunately, the new Biden policy confuses the issue by referring both to our existing (“IHRA”) definition and also to the controversial “Nexus” alternative that has been favored by some left-wing activists,” Marcus explained. “By citing both definitions, the Biden White House is actually undermining the very training that they are promising to provide.”
The White House, DHS, DOL and the VA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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