In response to a congratulatory letter from the American Zionist Movement (AZM), newly-appointed Secretary of State Tony Blinken responded to the group with the assurance that the new administration would hold to the definition of antisemitism as put forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
There is no question that many have wondered what the future is going to hold concerning the US stance regarding the nation of Israel following the departure of the Trump administration. Shortly after the swearing-in of the new Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, the AZM received a letter from Blinken upon congratulating him for his appointment to such a significant office.
The letter was addressed to the President of the AZM, Richard Heideman.
Within the letter, which is dated February 23rd, 2021, Blinken reassured Heideman of his anticipation of a positive relationship between the White House and the Jewish people, saying, “I look forward to working with the American Zionist Movement and other organizations committed to Israel’s security and to strengthening all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, Holocaust remembrance, and countering anti-Semitism here at home and around the world.”
He added, “The United States will continue to be a strong partner in fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel, and we will work tirelessly to counter attempts to isolate Israel in the international community…”
In his concluding remarks, Blinken added that “The Biden administration enthusiastically embraces the 2016 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, including its examples.”
The definition currently stands as:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Before the Biden administration took office in 2021, the Trump administration brought the battle against antisemitism to a whole new level. Not only did the White House battle it abroad, but actions were taken domestically as well. One of these was the executive order at the end of 2019 that former President Trump signed, warning that government funds could be withheld from college campuses where the BDS (boycott-divest-sanction) movement is being promoted.