WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden has set up an interagency task force to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia and has set as its first task coming up with a strategy to tackle 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,” Katine Jean-Pierre, Biden’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The announcement of the task force comes less than a week after Doug Emhoff, the Jewish Second Gentleman, chaired a round table with Jewish organizational leaders, to discuss how best to deal with a spike in expressions of antisemitism. One spur for convening the task force was the recent full embrace of antisemitism by rapper and designer Kanye West, and then former President Donald Trump’s dinner with West, who now goes by Ye, and Nick Fuentes, a prominent Holocaust denier.
Biden, a former vice-president, came out of retirement to run in part because he was appalled by what he saw as Trump’s flirtations with antisemitic extremists.
A bipartisan slate of lawmakers last week urged Biden to establish a task force on antisemitism.
According to Jean-Pierre’s release, the task force will be led by Domestic Policy Council staff and National Security Council staff. She did not say which other government agencies will be involved.