Anti-Israel Haters in Biden’s Antisemitism Forum

A new Biden plan to counter anti-Semitism was broadly heralded in an initial kneejerk reaction by many Jewish leaders and organizations in America.

However, when taking a closer look, it is clear that the internationally recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism is under attack and has been seriously punctured by a new, secondary definition introduced by people with a jaundiced view of Israel, the Jewish State.

Even World Jewish Congress President, Ronald Lauder, admitted that “the inclusion of a secondary definition in addition to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism is an unnecessary distraction from the real work that needs to be done.” 

A group of leftist academics have thrust a nail into the wheel of the IHRA working definition. Called the “Nexus Document,” it implies that applying double standards to Israel may not necessarily be antisemitic.

Jewish Federations of North America Chair Julie Platt admitted that Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s Antisemitism special envoy has said many times, the IHRA definition is “broadly accepted” as effective in combating Antisemitism.

The White House has allowed those beavering away to puncture the original IHRA definition into the tent. That concerns me and it should concern those who want to protect the original IHRA standard by not allowing dubious actors from puncturing holes into the well-crafted original version.

More examination must be made into the identity of those who are attempting to reduce the clear resonance of the IHRA working definition. People must be informed who they are, what they have been doing, and equally important, what they are not doing.

Example – The Nexus Task Force affiliated to what they call the Center for the Study of Hate at Bard College.

What they encourage, even educate, is a nuanced hate against Israel. What they fail to include in the curriculum at their Al Quds Bard courses held in East Jerusalem for Arab Students and pro-Palestinian external students, is recognition of Israel as they infuse victimhood into their students and accuse Israel of being not a potential peace partner but an apartheid entity.

Nothing in their Al Quds program challenges the hatred, including the anti-Jewish hatred, being generated by the political, religious, academic Palestinian leadership that formulate the hateful anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, obsession that has held back peace ever since Israel surrendered territory in a vain attempt at a peaceful future alongside whatever structure the Palestinians wants to develop that must recognize the Jewish People’s right to live in peace in their own land, Israel.

This, clearly, is not being studied, researched, or educated by Nexus, nor by Bard.

This should disqualify them from participating in any Biden White House discussion into the root causes of antisemitism and its solution.

The White House may claim their project “is to define antisemitism” but that is already defined. Their job, therefore, should be to implement the accepted IHRA definition.

What, in fact, they are doing is attempting to redefine it in the image of the Nexus group and the Al Quds Bard indoctrination programs.

The Biden White House may think they have widened the conversation on antisemitism but what they have done is opened the gates and allowed in the leftist pro-Palestinian Trojan Horse whose foot soldiers intend to challenge, weaken, and redefine the original intent of the IHRA definition as applied to Israel from within the camp of those opposing this aspect of Jew hatred.

If Nexus people genuinely want to address the root cause of antisemitism, they must purge it from the hearts and minds of the young Arabs they educate and instruct in places like Nablus, Ramallah, Gaza, and I suggest they start in East Jerusalem.

In the meantime, the White House must stick will the well tested IHRA definition and apply this in its original form to its ambitious plan to eradicate Jew hatred.

A hatred that has taken route in their own party in its various forms, including a primal hatred of Israel.

Barry Shaw,

International Public Diplomacy Director,

Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

About the Author
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel, 'BDS for IDIOTS,' and his latest work 'A Tale of Love and Destiny,' the dramatic life of a Jewish heroine.
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