A Roadmap for America
The best practices American Jewish Committee (AJC) uses to combat antisemitism in Europe are now helping America with its fight.
The best practices AJC uses to combat antisemitism in Europe are now helping America with its fight.
To respond to the rising threat of antisemitism in America, it is critical to draw upon the experience and expertise of those who have countered this hatred overseas.
That’s why American Jewish Committee (AJC)—the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people—is best equipped to lead us in this fight.
More than 20 years ago, AJC was the first to sound the alarm about the resurgence of antisemitism in Europe. For decades, our teams have been there, working to keep Jews safe.
The global perspective that only AJC can offer is needed in the United States right now. It is one of the many reasons leaders in the U.S., in Europe, and around the world rely on us as a trusted partner. In fact, the best practices we’ve used in Europe are now helping America with its fight.
AJC’s Roadmap for Countering Antisemitism Has 5 Key Components:
1. Promote Data-Driven Advocacy
For years, AJC commissioned breakthrough studies in Europe on rising antisemitism. Our research made clear the multiple sources of antisemitism and the need for tailored solutions. It also drew extensive media attention to the issue. Using the data to support our advocacy, AJC prompted leaders in Europe to take significant steps to counter antisemitism.
Now, here in the U.S., AJC’s research on antisemitism is again serving as a wake-up call. U.S. government officials and agencies, law enforcement, social media companies, and other leaders have come to rely on AJC’s data to understand the threat.
2. Define Antisemitism to Better Fight It
Two decades ago, AJC recognized that the lack of a universal definition of antisemitism made it nearly impossible for European countries to address the growing problem. So, in 2005, AJC teamed up with experts in Europe to draft the Working Definition of Antisemitism, a comprehensive description of what constitutes antisemitism, including antisemitism as it relates to Israel. The definition was later adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and endorsed by the European Parliament.
While our efforts began in the European Union, AJC quickly became the leader in the global push for adoption and implementation of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, with an emphasis on the U.S. in recent years. With AJC’s help, the Working Definition has now been endorsed by over 1,000 governments, civil society organizations, and other entities. Today, over half of all U.S. states and dozens of local municipalities have adopted the definition, in many cases a direct result of AJC advocacy.
3. Create a Comprehensive Call to Action
In 2022, AJC issued our Call to Action Against Antisemitism in America, a nonpartisan guide to help leaders in various sectors of society address antisemitism. It was modeled after a similar resource AJC issued in Europe in 2015, which shaped important policy initiatives, including the first EU strategy to fight antisemitism.
Our Call to Action for America is already making an impact. The White House’s decision to form an interagency task force to develop a U.S. national antisemitism strategy was a direct recommendation from AJC’s Call to Action.
4. Leverage Expertise from International Antisemitism Monitors
In 2015, AJC’s determined advocacy led the EU to establish the critical position of coordinator on combating antisemitism. Since then, several countries in Europe and other regions of the world have appointed coordinators and special envoys whose sole focus is to monitor and combat antisemitism.
In February 2023, as the U.S. was formulating its national antisemitism strategy, AJC convened a meeting at the White House where international antisemitism envoys were able to share best practices from building their own strategies.
5. Develop and Implement a National Antisemitism Strategy
In a historic moment in May 2023, the White House released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. It includes 100+ actions for the executive branch, and over 100 more for Congress, state and local government, and civil society to pursue. The plan mirrors AJC’s Call to Action Against Antisemitism, and dozens of the action items in the plan were AJC recommendations.
AJC pioneered the concept of a national antisemitism strategy in Europe. Our teams there worked closely with European governments to launch their national strategies, just as we advised the U.S. government as it developed its plan.
Following the release of the U.S. National Strategy, AJC announced the launch of a new Task Force to help implement the plan. AJC has activated our advocacy network to help ensure that the actions detailed in the National Strategy are carried out within the stated timelines.