Top Israeli figures have come out in support of US President Joe Biden's new strategy for combating antisemitism.
Since the strategy was announced just about an hour before a two day Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli government officials and public servants have waited till Saturday night in order to respond and thank the Biden administration.
President Isaac Herzog thanked Biden in a tweet on Saturday night: "Thank you for your staunch stand against antisemitism. This is reflected by the first ever national strategy for combating antisemitism issued by your administration over the weekend."
Herzog added that "we are in this battle together, fighting a terrible phenomenon which raises its ugly head around the globe, as well as in America. It must be fought by various means as outlined in the strategy, without any compromises."
Thank you @POTUS for your staunch stand against anti-Semitism. This is reflected by the first ever national strategy for combating anti—Semitism issued by your administration over the weekend.— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) May 27, 2023
In an official statement on behalf of the State of Israel, the Foreign Affairs Ministery (MFA) said in a statement that "the State of Israel welcomes the releasing by the United States of a national strategy to counter antisemitism and the embracing of the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
"The rise of antisemitism, including expressions of hatred towards Israel and denying its rights to exist, require firm and determined action through education, law enforcement and protection of Jewish communities in the US and elsewhere around the world.
"There is no room for antisemitism, and we must all enforce a policy of zero tolerance towards hatred of any human being," the MFA said in a statement on Saturday.
Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli has tweeted a similar statement to the MFA on Saturday as well.
The State of Israel welcomes the US National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism reaffirming their bi-partisan embrace of the IHRA definition and stressing its importance and centrality. The rise in antisemitism, including the delegitimization of the State of Israel, requires a…— עמיחי שיקלי - Amichai Chikli (@AmichaiChikli) May 27, 2023
On Thursday, Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog was the first Israelis representative to respond to the Biden administration strategy and said that he would like to "congratulate the Biden administration for publishing the first ever national strategy to combat antisemitism. Thank you, President Biden, for prioritizing the need to confront antisemitism in all its forms. We welcome the re-embracing of IHRA definition which is the gold standard definition of antisemitism. Less than a century after the Holocaust, rising antisemitism in America and across the globe is cause for alarm. This report is an important first step in the long fight against this venomous hate."
Biden unveiled unprecedented broad strategy
US President Biden unveiled an unprecedented broad strategy to combat antisemitism on Thursday morning local time, launching a plan that has been in the works for months and that has sparked debate among Jewish organizations.
The 60-page National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism was announced in a video presentation and live-streamed conversation between its two architects — Susan Rice, Biden’s chief domestic policy adviser, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is the first Jewish spouse of a US vice president. Also on the livestream were Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall and Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.
Biden, who did not attend the launch but was featured in a recorded message, called the plan "the most ambitious and comprehensive" government initiative in combatting antisemitism, which includes 100 new actions the Administration will take to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protect Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, and build cross-community solidarity.
Haley Cohen contributed to this report.