Joe Biden
Joe BidenGripas Yuri/ABACA via Reuters Connect

The White House announced on Monday that President Joe Biden would be forming a new group that will focus on fighting antisemitism.

“As President Biden has made clear: antisemitism has no place in America. All Americans should forcefully reject antisemitism – including Holocaust denial – wherever it exists,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement announcing the move.

“The President is establishing an inter-agency group led by Domestic Policy Council staff and National Security Council staff to increase and better coordinate U.S. Government efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination within the United States,” she added.

“The President has tasked the inter-agency group, as its first order of business, to develop a national strategy to counter antisemitism. This strategy will raise understanding about antisemitism and the threat it poses to the Jewish community and all Americans, address antisemitic harassment and abuse both online and offline, seek to prevent antisemitic attacks and incidents, and encourage whole-of-society efforts to counter antisemitism and build a more inclusive nation,” the statement continued.

“We look forward to working with advocates, civil rights leaders, civil society, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to continue countering the scourge of antisemitism.”

The move follows a recent uptick in antisemitic rhetoric in the US, most notably by rapper Kanye West, who gave an interview to Alex Jones of Infowars earlier this month in which he said he “loves everyone,” including Jews, as well as Nazis, spoke favorably of Hitler and denied the Holocaust.

West later posted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David on his Twitter account, prompting Twitter owner Elon Musk to suspend his account a second time.

West’s interview took place several days after he, along with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, met former US President Donald Trump at his Florida home, a meeting for which Trump has been criticized.

Last week, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff hosted Jewish leaders for a roundtable to discuss the rise in antisemitism and efforts to fight hate in the United States.

“We’re seeing a rapid rise in antisemitic rhetoric and acts,” Emhoff said, opening the roundtable. “Let me be clear: words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud – they are literally screaming them.”

He went onto say that there was no “both sides” to the issue. “Antisemitism is dangerous. We cannot normalize this… There is only one side. Everyone, all of us, must be against this.”