Podcast: Tevi Troy on the Biden Administration’s Plan to Fight Anti-Semitism https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/politics-current-affairs/2023/07/podcast-tevi-troy-on-the-biden-administrations-plan-to-fight-anti-semitism/

The D.C. veteran joins us to talk about what the government can do to fight anti-Semitism, and what, despite good intentions, it can’t.

July 7, 2023 | Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic, Tevi Troy
About the author: A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture. Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide. In 2001, he served as the first director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives at the Department of Labor. His latest book is Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump
President Joe Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff during a celebration marking Jewish American Heritage Month in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Podcast: Tevi Troy

At the end of May, the Biden administration released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Anti-Semitism. This document looks at the threat anti-Semitism poses to America, outlines ways the federal government can improve the safety and security of Jewish communities, offers plans for countering anti-Semitic discrimination online, in media, and in schools, and describes the administration’s vision for partnering with various religious and civic groups to address the issue.

The existence of this strategy is both praiseworthy and worrying. Often in Jewish history it has been the very governments to which Jews are subject that themselves fuel or carry out anti-Semitic attacks; now, the government is trying to prevent them. Still, the fact that such a national strategy is needed is a sign of some disturbing trends in American culture and American public life.

Tevi Troy, a veteran of the American government, recently analyzed the Biden administration’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism in a new essay, called “How to Combat Anti-Semitism,” for the journal National Affairs. Here, he joins Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to discuss his ideas.

In particular, he wonders if, however, praiseworthy or well-intended the impulse behind this national strategy might be, the federal government has the wherewithal to do any good here. Then, looking a little more deeply into the report, he raises other questions—questions having to do with the definition of anti-Semitism, the strategic conceptions deployed to fight against it, the partners that have been enlisted to help implement these initiatives, and so forth.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.