President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country in recent weeks, saying the incidents are “despicable, unconscionable, un-American, and they must stop.”
The nation is seeing an uptick in attacks on the Jewish community as tensions flare following the violence in the Middle East between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas. Biden’s statement on Friday was his second one this week on the issue.
“We have seen a brick thrown through window of a Jewish-owned business in Manhattan, a swastika carved into the door of a synagogue in Salt Lake City, families threatened outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, and museums in Florida and Alaska, dedicated to celebrating Jewish life and culture and remembering the Holocaust, vandalized with anti-Jewish messages,” Biden said in a statement.
The President continued: “These attacks are despicable, unconscionable, un-American, and they must stop.”
“I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice,” Biden said. “We cannot allow the toxic combination of hatred, dangerous lies, and conspiracy theories to put our fellow Americans at risk.”
Biden pointed to the announcement this week by Attorney General Merrick Garland that the Department of Justice would be taking six immediate steps to improve its efforts to combat the spike in hate crimes.
“In recent days, we have seen that no community is immune,” Biden said. “We must all stand together to silence these terrible and terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in world history, and pledge to give hate no safe harbor.”
Last week, a group of five leading Jewish organizations called on Biden to take a series of steps to combat the rise in anti-Semitic attacks. A group of Democratic House members who are Jewish then called on Biden to address the issue amid a divide within congressional Democrats, especially between moderate and progressives, on how to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Four Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, sent a letter to Biden on Tuesday asking him to lead a “united, all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism in this country.”
The issue has also been reverberating on Capitol Hill. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, sparked bipartisan outrage for her comments comparing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to continue to require members of the House to wear masks on the chamber floor to Germany during World War II and the treatment of Jewish people by Nazis.