December 26, 2022
The Key to White House Reporting on Anti-Semitism is Rooted in Education
By: Anthony Harper, PhD
For the purpose of this article, the working definition of Anti-Semitism by The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is as follows:
“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.”
Besides news reporting on Anti-Semitism, there is the crucial role as educator to White House staff and fellow news reporters on this topic.
Anti-Semitism reporting at the White House addresses hateful expression toward Jewish people and Israel either directly or indirectly whether it is by funding the Palestinian Authority with their ‘Pay to Slay’ policy, UNRWA school curriculum, enemies of Israel (Iran, etc.), supporting the dividing up of Israel, desecration of Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish properties as well as all forms of discrimination against Jews in speech or other actions.
What was the significance of defunding UNRWA?
The defunding of UNRWA brought attention to their school curriculum and textbooks portraying Israel as the Occupier and training children to hate Jews.
The key player in the investigation of UNRWA is U.S. Senator James Risch. In 2017, Senator Risch, who then headed the Near East subcommittee of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, successfully requested an investigation by the GAO (General Accounting Office) into how U.S. tax dollars funding UNRWA are being used. The resulting GAO investigative report, issued when Senator Risch assumed the chair of the US Senate Foreign Relation Committee, revealed that UNRWA was lying to the State Department on how funds were used, resulting in President Trump defunding UNRWA.
Expressions of Anti-Semitism are addressed in numerous news reports which emanate from the White House.
First, a kick off White House question regarding the Anti-Semitic U.N. agency UNRWA was featured on Jerusalem television station Channel 20 January 25, 2017 during the first week of former President Trump’s White House press conferences with Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Next, the most prominent opportunity to comprehensively address key components of Anti-Semitism occurred when President Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki responded to questions April 25, 2022 regarding the Palestinian Authority’s ‘Pay to Slay’ program, UNRWA, the Two State solution of dividing Israel and the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Vilnius.
The third experience took place when President Biden’s National Security Council member Rear Admiral John Kirby also answered questions June 23, 2022 regarding Russia’s aggression toward Israel.
Furthermore, General John Kelly addressed questions regarding U.S. funding of UNRWA October 12, 2017.
Still another form of Anti-Semitism is the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania. This cemetery was desecrated by the Russians at the end of World War Two. Jewish people constantly rally at this site and plea for protection over this sacred cemetery from further desecration by Vilnius city officials.
Reporting on Anti-Semitism is a challenge at the White House, since too many reporters and staff describe Israel as an occupier that has created an Apartheid state. But what about the Anti-Semitic individuals in the West Bank and Gaza that do not want Jews living there?Those Apartheid concerns are especially laid to rest in a new report at a Jerusalem Hospital visit titled ‘Debunking the Apartheid Myth: A Typical Day in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital’ September 14, 2022.
Why is more education recommended regarding all forms of Anti-Semitism?
Because according to an Anti Defamation League (ADL) May 11, 2022 report, Anti-Semitism is greatly on the rise. The following statement was made in their report:
“We are always concerned about an increase in antisemitic incidents, but this year’s big spike is especially troubling,” said ADL Southwest Regional Director Mark B. Toubin. “Moreover, incident reports have continued seemingly unabated into 2022, with numerous distributions of antisemitic and racist propaganda. Generally, where there is antisemitism, there are other types of hate.”
Very telling is an ADL Global study of over 100 countries (2014-2019) revealed that 1.09 Billion people in the world held anti-Semitic attitudes.
This is but a brief overview of White House experiences addressing this topic and videos referenced in this OpEd that reveal more information can be found on the InterMountain Christian News YouTube channel.
With a backdrop of former President Trump being accused at the White House as being anti-Semitic, current White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded December 7, 2022 to a reporter who disputes her statement that the Biden administration is opposed to antisemitism in any form. Another reporter was trying to ask about the Biden administration funding the anti-Semitic organizations of the Palestinian Authority and U.N. agency UNRWA.
Special thanks to JESUS and David Bedein of the Center for Near East Policy Research for making this White House reporting on anti-Semitism possible.