The Biden administration faced backlash Wednesday after announcing that it would develop “the first ever US National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia” in the US amid rising levels of antisemitism. The White House’s focus on combatting Islamophobia comes one day after both the arrest of a 21-year-old self-identified “Hamas fighter” in New York who allegedly threatened to kill and rape Jews at Cornell University and FBI Director Christopher Wray telling senators that antisemitism is reaching “historic levels” in the US following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. “For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate fueled attacks,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a video posted on X. “As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents across America,” she added, referencing the brutal slaying of a six-year-old Palestinian American boy in Chicago last month. Harris indicated that the plan – still in the works – will aim “to protect Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim from hate, bigotry and violence. And to address the concern that some government policies may discriminate against Muslims.” The White House initiative also comes one day after a poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute found President Biden’s support among Arab-Americans plummeting to only 17% after backing Israel’s war on Hamas. By contrast, 40% of Arab-American respondents said they would vote for former President Donald Trump. Canadian professor Gad Saad, who referenced the statistics Wray presented to senators Tuesday, was one of many who took to social media to express dismay with the Biden administration’s anti-Islamophobia announcement. “According to the [FBI] director, Jews make up 2.4% of the US population but are the targets of 60% of hate crimes. This is why it is apparently important to fight Islamophobia according to the White House,” Saad, who was born into a Jewish family in Lebanon, wrote on X.Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has called for the deportation of foreigners expressing support for Hamas, was equally appalled by the announcement. “After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and a breakout of pro-Hamas activism on campus, the White House is claiming *Islamophobia* is our top concern,” the Arkansas Republican tweeted. Blake Beye, a member of the Hilsboro, Kan., City Council, called the unveiling “tone deaf” in the wake of rising antisemitism. “This is one of the most tone deaf posts I’ve ever seen on this platform,” Beye said in response to the vice president’s video message. “The amount of hatred I’ve seen towards the Jewish community and the nation of Israel over the last month makes me sick to my stomach and breaks my heart. Read the room, sweetheart.” Conservative writer Mark Hemingway argued that the rollout of strategy signals that Democrats may be worried about losing the swing state of Michigan, which has the second largest Arab American population in the country, to Republicans in 2024. “Aside from the fact this is a slap in the face to American Jews who are the actual victims of hate crimes, the good news for Republicans is that Michigan must be in play,” Hemingway said on X. Echoing many on social media, conservative radio talk show host Tammy Bruce criticized the timing of the Biden administration’s announcement. “Timing is everything and is itself a statement,” Bruce tweeted. “This as Jews are being threatened, hunted, and attacked worldwide. Tells you everything you need to know about the moral depravity and corruption of the Democratic Party and especially of the people in the White House.” “Shame on them,” she added. The Biden administration unveiled a series of actions Monday meant to combat rising antisemitism at colleges and universities following a series of anti-Israel demonstrations.Under the plan, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are partnering with campus and local police to track hate-related rhetoric online and provide federal resources to schools — and the Education Department will host webinars on how to file reports.In May, the White House released a 60-page strategy to counter antisemitism in the US, but it was criticized by some Jewish and anti-hate groups who argued that the Biden administration picked a diluted definition of the term “antisemitism” that doesn’t say it’s antisemitic to oppose Israel’s creation or hold the Jewish state to different standards than other countries.
02 Kasım 2023 - 08:00
White House slammed for 'tone deaf' unveiling of anti-Islamophobia strategy as antisemitism surges
The Biden administration faced backlash Wednesday after announcing that it would develop “the first ever US National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia” in the US amid rising levels of antisemitism. …
02 Kasım 2023 - 08:00