Joe Biden
Joe BidenReuters

An array of national Jewish groups called on US President Joe Biden to speak out against what the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has described as a recent spike in anti-Semitic 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 anti-Israel protesters.

“Use your bully pulpit to call out anti-Semitism,” 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 anti-Semitism.”

Biden was outspoken as a candidate in denouncing the spike in anti-Semitism during the Trump administration, and specifically called out former US President Donald Trump for equivocating in denouncing white supremacists and anti-Semites.

The letter also calls on Biden to name a liaison to the Jewish community and to nominate a State Department anti-Semitism 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 anti-Semitism. That order is controversial because it adopts a definition of anti-Semitism that a number of groups on the left says is too broad in describing forms of Israel criticism as anti-Semitic.

The letter also calls on Biden to further increase security funding for nonprofits, which Congress substantially increased last year.