Biden administration officials did not mention Israel a single time in a Tuesday anti-Semitism strategy discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the latest sign that the White House is attempting to downplay connections between anti-Zionism and attacks on Jews.
During the hour-long panel discussion, Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, and White House homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall highlighted incidents of anti-Semitism involving neo-Nazis and far-right nationalists, but failed to mention anti-Zionist attacks against Jews, according to Jewish Insider.
A senior White House official also declined to comment during an interview on the administration’s plans to deal with anti-Zionism as part of its anti-Semitism strategy, Jewish Insider reported.
The failure to mention anti-Zionism could add to concerns that the Biden administration is attempting to water down the definition of anti-Semitism to exclude anti-Israel extremism. The White House in May rolled out its long-awaited national strategy to combat anti-Semitism, a document that barely mentioned Israel. In the strategy, the White House also declined to officially endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes certain extreme anti-Israel views.
The White House recently tapped CUNY professor Ramzi Kassem as an immigration adviser. Kassem has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “systematic genocide,” the Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday.