The American Jewish Committee (AJC) on Tuesday released “A Call to Action Against Antisemitism," a plan to help the government and key sectors of society better understand and combat antisemitism.
The plan’s goal is to foster education about antisemitism in order to better respond to and prevent anti-Jewish hate in American communities.
“A Call to Action Against Antisemitism: A Society-Wide Nonpartisan Guide for America” comes at a time when antisemitism is at an increasingly worrying level in the US, according to the advocacy organization.
“If we fail to protect the Jewish population, we are failing to protect our democracy as well,” said Holly Huffnagle, AJC US director for Combating Antisemitism. “American values are threatened if anti-Jewish prejudice is left unchecked. This call to action serves as a roadmap for how we can meaningfully respond. Because what starts with Jews rarely ends with them, it is incumbent on all Americans to proactively seek out and employ best practices to address antisemitism. The time to act is now.”
The ACJ noted that their most recent State of Antisemitism in America report found 90 percent of respondents believed antisemitism was a problem in the US.
The report also found that 4 out of 10 Jews changed their behavior in public, such as not wearing a Star of David or a kippah, out of fear of antisemitism.
With Jewish experiencing 55 percent of religious hate crimes even though they are only 2 percent of the population, according to FBI statistics, AJC described the resurgence of antisemitism in the US as following the “reanimation of antisemitism” in Europe two decades ago.
“In response to a resurgence of antisemitism on the Continent, AJC launched a similar initiative in Europe in 2015 and hosted a groundbreaking summit after a spate of violent and fatal attacks that specifically targeted Jews,” ACJ said. “Often called the world’s oldest hatred, antisemitism today takes on many forms. For example, it can originate from far-right groups such as neo-Nazis and white supremacists, along with far-left factions that seek the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.”
The Call to Action plan aims to “mobilize American leadership to at once understand, respond to, and prevent antisemitism.”
The plan is aimed at multiple sectors, including the public sector; federal, state, and local government; Congress; law enforcement; the media; social media companies; educational institutions; the private sector; and civil society.
“The Call to Action outlines the challenges each sector faces in responding to antisemitism and offers best practices and steps that should be taken, such as the removal of antisemitic content on social media platforms or the need for law enforcement to accurately record and report hate crimes,” AJC said.