An Era of ‘Philo-Semitism’? The US Will Push Countries to Love Their Jews More, Anti-Semitism Monitor Says


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elan Carr, the State Department’s anti-Semitism monitor, wants to get people in other countries to love their Jews more as a means of countering anti-Semitism.

In a press call Monday to mark Jewish American Heritage Month, Carr outlined steps the United States was taking worldwide to advocate for defending Jews as violent anti-Semitism spikes, including security measures, prosecuting hate crimes and condemning anti-Semitic speech.

“In addition to all of those important defense measures, we are determined also to work with our allies in developing and driving Philo-Semitic narratives for their country, in the hope that we can reach the day when every society dedicates itself, as the United States has, to embrace and to treasure its Jewish community,” he said.

He did not outline what shape the philo-Semitic narratives would take, or how the State Department would drive them.

“The opposite of anti-Semitism is not tolerance,” Carr said. “The opposite of anti-Semitism is Philo-Semitism, the appreciation, respect, and affection for Jewish values and the Jewish community. Jewish American Heritage Month is an important vehicle for driving that critical Philo-Semitic narrative.”

Carr listed Jewish American luminaries worth promoting, including composers Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein, scientists Jonas Salk and Albert Einstein, and Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo.

Carr also addressed the spike in anti-Semitic narratives that blame Jews for the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve actually brought together various authorities that work in this area, in governments, ours and others, and in the private sector or for-profit, but also NGOs that specifically address internet hate speech,” he said. “And we’re bringing together these authorities specifically for the purpose of producing a framework to address this.”