Several Jewish orgs skip scheduled meeting with top Biden admin officials over ‘last minute’ inclusion of far-left groups

A quantity of outstanding Jewish organizations on Friday pulled out of a scheduled meeting with two top Biden administration officials over the “last minute” inclusion of far-left groups. 

At least six mainstream groups signed off or skipped the ten a.m. Zoom meeting with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden, throughout which the difficulty of anti-Israel protests on faculty campuses was slated to be mentioned, The Post has discovered. 

The groups had been the Jewish Federations of North America, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Orthodox Union, the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and Hillel International. 

Joe Biden
Biden administration officials held a separate meeting with groups that dropped off the primary name over the final minute inclusion of left-wing organizations. REUTERS

At concern was the Eleventh-hour inclusion of groups against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which, partly, deems it antisemitic to criticize Jewish individuals for the actions of Israel and declare that the existence of Israel is a racist endeavor.

“Sort of at the last minute, they told us they were adding some other participants to the meeting,” one participant who dropped off the decision instructed The Post.  

“When we found out who they were, we said, ‘You know, we had requested this meeting and this is really last minute and we’re not aligned on some key issues with some of these groups,” the particular person added. 

The invitations to T’ruah, the Nexus Leadership Project, Bend the Arc and Diaspora Alliance, all left-wing groups, stunned the mainstream Jewish organizations. 

Diaspora Alliance was described by the consultant of one boycotting group as “pretty anti-Israel.”

The meeting was hosted by the Department of Education, and Cardona’s division didn’t share its visitor checklist with the White House, a supply acquainted instructed The Post. 

Some within the Biden administration had been troubled that the Department of Education prolonged an invite to Diaspora Alliance, a bunch which the White House doesn’t meet with, the supply stated. 

The White House and Department of Education didn’t reply to The Post’s requests for remark. 

riot police
The groups and administration officials mentioned the anti-Israel protests sweeping faculty campuses. Getty Images
Anti-Israel protest.
Some of the groups included within the meeting oppose the mainstream definition of antisemitism.

The Biden administration officials agreed to carry a separate 1 p.m. meeting with the boycotting groups, representatives from two organizations instructed The Post.   

The ADL, Orthodox Union, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America, Hillel International, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and National Council of Jewish Women launched a joint assertion on Friday that didn’t delve into the controversy.

“It was a positive and productive meeting. We appreciate the Secretary rapidly making himself available to us at this critical moment,” the groups stated.

“As organizations who have been dedicated to defending and supporting Jewish students experiencing harassment and violence on college campuses around the country, we thank the Secretary of Education for the opportunity this afternoon to share our urgent concerns,” the assertion continued.

“We directly raised our urgent concerns surrounding the current climate of antisemitism on campus and the lack thus far of effective response. In this moment of crisis, we asked the Department to be specific in their follow up and implementation of this week’s clear statement made by President Biden and to provide universities with a clear path to effective enforcement of that statement.

“By sharing specific recommendations, we urged the Administration to do more to protect Jewish students and the broader student community from intimidation, harassment, and violence.” 

The head of Bend the Arc instructed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that she was “surprised” that so many groups opted to protest the sooner meeting.

“I was really surprised not to see them there,” Jamie Beran stated of the boycotting organizations, noting that there have been conservative groups that stayed on the decision. 

“I was grateful to be with groups that are taking the safety of students seriously and putting politics aside,” she added. 

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, govt director of the progressive T’ruah group, known as it a “good thing” that the Biden administration was prepared to satisfy with a “broad swath of the Jewish community,” to be able to “get the fullest possible picture of what’s happening.”

“If there are centrist groups that refuse to be in a Zoom with an organization that represents more than 2,300 rabbis, including campus rabbis and rabbis who are in touch with college students from their communities regularly, they might want to reconsider that,” Jacobs told Jewish Insider

The White House confronted criticism from Jewish groups final 12 months for indicating that it “welcomes and appreciates” definitions of antisemitism not favored by the bulk of mainstream Jewish organizations. 

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