WASHINGTON (JTA) — Less than a week after Doug Emhoff, the Jewish second gentleman, chaired a roundtable with Jewish organizational leaders, President Joe Biden has set up an interagency task force to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia.
The group’s first task is coming up with a strategy to tackle the rise in 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,” Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Emhoff’s 90-minute meeting last week came on the heels of weeks of antisemitic invective spewed by rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, and the dinner attended last month by West, Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and former President Donald Trump at Trump’s Florida residence. The discussion also followed alarming spikes in antisemitic invective on Twitter and other platforms.
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.