The Biden administration is praising a step that it calls a “landmark” in putting its national strategy to counter antisemitism into action.
According to a statement from the White House, “eight federal agencies clarified—for the first time in writing—that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits certain forms of antisemitic, Islamophobic, and related forms of discrimination in federally funded programs and activities.”
These comprehensive protections offer crucial tools to stop discrimination based on ancestry or ethnicity and to better safeguard the civil rights of all Americans.
The Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Treasury, and Transportation are among the organizations issuing the civil rights statement.
Jewish Federations of North America praised what it referred to as a “substantial step by the Biden administration.” Elana Broitman, senior vice president of public affairs at JFNA, said that these actions “will afford important protections for our community across a number of important fields and mark an important step in the right direction.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to take further action, particularly when it comes to protecting our schools and college campuses, and urge the administration to fully implement the IHRA definition of antisemitism,” she continued. (The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is referred to as IHRA.)
The International Legal Forum’s CEO, Arsen Ostrovsky, stated that his company “applauds the announcement by the U.S. Eight federal departments will legally embrace Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, according to the Biden administration.
He continued, “With antisemitism in the United States at a record high, especially on campuses, this decision will solidify and reinforce the civil and legal rights of Jewish Americans against the scourge of modern Jew-hatred and antisemitism in all its forms.”
The White House announcement has “elated” the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, according to their statement. Kenneth Marcus, the center’s founder and chairman, continued,
“But there’s an issue. The entire U.S. government must accept the IHRA definition in order to adequately define antisemitism, he said, adding that it is one thing for the government to pledge to combat the problem.