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Biden denounces anti-Semitism at White House Hanukkah event

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Monday sounded the alarm on the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world and vowed to confront the scourge.

“Silence is complicity,” Biden said, addressing guests gathered at a Hanukkah reception at the White House, adding that it was imperative that hatred, violence and anti-Semitism be condemned by the state.

“This year’s Hanukkah will take place in countries where anti-Semitism is on the rise and gaining momentum, and frankly around the world,” Biden said. “I recognize your fears, hurts and worries that this vile and venomous has become too normal.”

The President added: America will not be silent. ”

Holiday celebrations come amidst successive episodes of anti-Semitism. Former President Donald Trump invited a Holocaust-denier white supremacist to his club, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida. expressed. Basketball star Kyrie Irving appeared to promote an anti-Semitic movie on social media as neo-Nazi troll says his new CEO Elon Musk will give ‘pardon’ to suspended account , urges you to return to Twitter.

“Today we must all say, clearly and forcefully, that anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and violence in this country are not safe harbors,” Biden said.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, tracked 2,717 cases of assault, harassment and vandalism last year. That’s a 34% increase from the previous year and the highest number since the New York City-based group began tracking him in 1979. .

Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, recently hosted a White House discussion on combating anti-Semitism and hatred with Jewish leaders representing reform, conservative and orthodox sects. did. At the event, Emhoff, a Jew, said he was “suffering right now” about the rise of anti-Semitism.

Among those invited to Monday’s White House event was Holocaust survivor Bronia Brandman. Michele Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. and Abigael Heschel Aronson, granddaughter of Jewish theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Also present was Rabbi Charlie Cytron Walker, who successfully led the congregation to safety during the synagogue hostage crisis earlier this year. In order to free him and his three other hostages from his traumatic 11-hour ordeal, he took credit for years of security training for a congregation outside Fort Worth, Texas. praised.

At the White House celebration, he noted that anti-Semitism is a growing problem in America, but thanked many Americans, including Biden, for speaking out. .

“Anti-Semitism may be on the rise, but thank God people are on our side,” said Cytron, now a rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Walker said

This year, a menorah was added to the White House holiday collection, lit each night during the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah. White House carpenters fashioned sterling silver candle cups and a menorah from wood saved from a Truman-era renovation.

The White House has borrowed special menorahs in the past, but Biden said more were needed.

“We thought it was important this year to celebrate Hanukkah with another important message: persistence,” Biden said. “America’s very promise is that we were all born equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.”

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Biden denounces anti-Semitism at White House Hanukkah event

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