President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the recent spike in anti-Semitic attacks across the country, calling them “despicable, unconscionable, and un-American,” and demanding that they end.
As tensions rise in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, attacks on the Jewish community are increasing across the country. Biden’s Friday statement was his second on the subject this week.
“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 cited Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement this week that the Department of Justice would take six immediate steps to improve its efforts to combat the rise 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.”
A group of five major Jewish organizations called on Biden last week to take a series of steps to combat the rise in anti-Semitic attacks. Following that, a group of Jewish Democratic House members called on Biden to address the issue, citing a schism among Democrats in Congress, particularly between moderates and progressives, over how to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On Tuesday, four Democrats, led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, wrote to Biden, urging him to lead a “unified, all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism in this country.”
On Capitol Hill, the issue has been resonating as well. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, sparked bipartisan outrage by comparing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to keep requiring members of the House to wear masks on the chamber floor to Nazi Germany during World War II and the treatment of Jews.