Letter to the editor,
Let’s face facts. Holding a discussion on antisemitism, even if it was attended by White House advisors and the Vice President’s husband (who happens to be Jewish) can be no more than a first step toward addressing the growing problem of antisemitism in America. And, it seems to me, that excluding the press from all but the opening remarks was a mistake. News reports that label Israel as an apartheid state and accuse Israel of genocide against the Palestinians (who experienced increased life expectancy and decreased infant mortality after Israel liberated Gaza and the “West Bank” from Egyptian and Jordanian occupation) have contributed to the rise of antisemitism worldwide.
And, truth be told, the Biden administration has been late in even recognizing that the problem exists. In April 2021, President Biden addressed a joint session of Congress, in which he discussed systemic racism and white supremacy; attacks upon Blacks, Native Americans, and women; and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. But he said not a word about the fact that American Jews, less than 3 percent of the American population, are the targets of nearly 60 percent of religious bias crimes in the US.
Nor did the roundtable discussions touch on the issue of anti-Zionism, the latest incarnation of Jew hatred; many people who call themselves “pro-Palestinian” aren’t objecting to what Israel does; they are objecting to what Israel is (the nation-state of the Jews in the Jews’ ancestral homeland). Here, too, the Biden administration does not have a good record. Biden appointed Samantha Power to run USAID. When she was America’s ambassador to the UN, under the Obama administration, she supported a resolution which classified many of Judaism’s holiest sites to be “occupied Arab land.”
Biden’s choice for Senior Director of Intelligence on the National Security Council worked with Students for Justice in Palestine, UNRWA, and BADIL, all of which support the Palestinian Victimhood Narrative, that blames Israel, not corrupt Palestinian leaders, for the very real suffering of the Palestinian people.
Toby F. Block, Atlanta