The Biden administration in its long-awaited report on combating Jew hatred is making a concession to anti-Israel activists by embracing a watered-down definition of anti-Semitism that says it’s OK to hold the Jewish state to higher standards than other countries.
The Thursday announcement is a significant blow to mainstream Jewish groups, which had lobbied the White House to exclusively endorse the stronger International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism. While the White House says the United States “has embraced” the IHRA definition, it also praises the conflicting “Nexus” definition, which states that it is not anti-Semitic to denounce Israel’s creation or treat the Jewish state more harshly than other countries.
Anti-Israel groups such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now had pushed the White House to mention multiple definitions of anti-Semitism in the report to avoid giving legitimacy to the IHRA standard, which prominent Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have endorsed. The Biden administration’s report states there are “several definitions of anti-Semitism, which serve as valuable tools to raise awareness and increase understanding of anti-Semitism.”