Our Future is Worth Fighting For

Dear Friend of APN,

After a year-long process of meetings, listening sessions, and countless emails, last Thursday, the Biden Administration released its plan to fight antisemitism here in the U.S. This is a huge step forward– the plan outlines over 100 new actions the Administration will take to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protect Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, and build cross-community solidarity. 

President Biden, announcing the White House strategy to combat antisemitism

If you’ve been following the press about the plan, you’ll notice that much of the conversation revolved around the debate over the IHRA definition and whether or not it should be codified. Thankfully, the Biden Administration was paying attention during those listening sessions and, even in the face of tremendous pressure from right-wing Jewish organizations, they stayed true to their goal of combating antisemitism and did not let this plan get hijacked by those who were solely focused on IHRA and its use as a tool to attack those who criticize Israeli policy or actions.

We commend the Administration for its resolve and good sense. And we’re grateful that we had a seat at the table and the ability to make our voices (and yours!) heard. We never stepped back from our position that IHRA should not be codified as the definition of antisemitism. We made this very clear to our friends in the White House and are proud that the new antisemitism plan reflects this reality.

Let’s be clear– this isn’t a fight about definitions. It’s a fight about free speech, and about who is or is not allowed to dictate “the Jewish position” on many issues, especially those relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Occupation. And it’s a fight that’s far from over. 

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I’m in my twenties. When I talk about the future of the American-Jewish community or the future of the Israel-Palestine conflict, I’m not talking about some nebulous far-off thing destined to be another generation’s problem. I am that generation. This is my future. The Occupation and the status of antisemitism in the U.S. is a reality that my generation inherited. But it doesn’t have to be what we pass on. 

It’s time to break the cycle– and to do that, we need your support. We need someone to defend our right to free speech. To self-determination. To have a diverse spectrum of voices, rather than letting a few organizations with louder megaphones define who we are and what we stand for. 

We need to do more than just talk about antisemitism amongst ourselves and on social media. We need to be in the White House and we need to protest in the streets. And yes, we need to support organizations that hold the doors open for us to have those conversations and create the space to fight for the better, more peaceful, world we’d like to pass on. APN is the organization holding open the door and creating that space. But we can’t do it without you

Please support our efforts to fight for free speech and honesty in the conversation about Judaism and Israel. And please spread the word– our voices are worth fighting for. Our future– a peaceful one, where our voices are heard– is worth securing. 

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