American Jewish Committee Issues Call to Action for Government, Other Institutions to Respond to and Prevent Antisemitism
On September 6, American Jewish Committee (AJC) released a comprehensive Call to Action for America to help key sectors of society better understand antisemitism, so they can better respond to and prevent anti-Jewish hate in their communities.
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, released A Call to Action Against Antisemitism: A Society-Wide Nonpartisan Guide for America, at a time when antisemitic incidents and the level of anti-Jewish rhetoric have dramatically increased in the U.S.
“If we fail to protect the Jewish population, we are failing to protect our democracy as well,” said Holly Huffnagle, AJC U.S. 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 latest AJC State of Antisemitism in America report found 90% of respondents believe antisemitism was a problem in the U.S. and that four in 10 American Jews changed their behavior, such as not wearing a Star of David or yarmulke in public out of fear of antisemitism.
In addition, the latest FBI figures on hate crimes found Jews were victims of 55% of religiously motivated hate crimes even though they are just 2% of the U.S. population.
The trend of resurgent anti-Jewish hate in America follows 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.
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 aims to mobilize American leadership to at once understand, respond to, and prevent antisemitism. It is aimed at these sectors:
The Public Sector: Federal, state, and local government; Congress; Law enforcement. Media: Digital, broadcast and print media; Social media companies. Private Sector and Civil Society: Corporations and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) personnel; Coalition partners. Educational Institutions: Secondary schools; Universities and colleges.
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.