By Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON — An array of national Jewish groups called on Joe Biden to speak out against what the Anti-Defamation League has described as a recent spike in antisemitic attacks linked to the latest Israeli war in Gaza.
Biden has yet to address the incidents, and did not mention them on Thursday when he welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The attacks have included assaults on Jews by pro-Palestinian protesters.
“Use your bully pulpit to call out antisemitism,” said the letter sent Friday jointly by the Jewish Federations of North America, the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and the Orthodox Union. “Harness the authority of the Presidency and the United States Government to speak out loudly and clearly against antisemitism.”
Biden was outspoken as a candidate in denouncing the spike in antisemitism during the Trump administration, and specifically called out President Donald Trump for equivocating in denouncing white supremacists and antisemites.
The letter also calls on Biden to name a liaison to the Jewish community and to nominate a State Department antisemitism monitor. Biden has been slow to fill key posts in his administration as he tackles the coronavirus pandemic and seeks to resuscitate the economy wounded by the pandemic.
The also called on Biden not to rescind Trump’s December 2019 executive order defining Jews as a protected class and combating antisemitism. That order is controversial because it adopts a definition of antisemitism that a number of groups on the left says is too broad in describing forms of Israel criticism as antisemitic.
The letter also calls on Biden to further increase security funding for nonprofits, which Congress substantially increased last year.