President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have taken a stand against anti-Semitism, condemning hatred against the Jewish community.
The White House statements come as attacks on Jews have escalated with a dizzying increase over the past week, prompted by the escalation of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Even with a ceasefire late last week, tensions continued around the world, spilling over into the United States through the rise of public anti-Semitic attacks on Jews.
Authorities are now investigating hate crimes that have occurred in Los Angeles, New York and other major cities around the world.
“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable and must end,” President Biden tweeted on Monday. “I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad – it is up to all of us not to give hatred any refuge.”
Vice President Harris took to Twitter to post, “The surge in anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish people in the United States and around the world is despicable – it must be exposed, condemned and stopped. As a country, we must be united against hatred of all kinds. “
Harris is married to Doug Emhoff, the very first Second Gentleman in American history and the first Jewish wife of a vice president. Since Biden and Harris were elected, the vice president and her husband have brought Jewish culture to the world stage, such as the public celebration of Hanukkah, shortly after the election.
About a week ago, an assault took place at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles resulting in the arrest of a man, who was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. The LAPD is still working to identify and arrest other suspects linked to the crime. The attack took place when a caravan of 30 people allegedly, appearing to be pro-Palestinian protesters, began throwing glass bottles at Jewish diners and shouting anti-Jewish slurs in the cars, which then proceeded to throw glass bottles at Jewish diners and shout anti-Jewish slurs in the cars. degenerated into physical violence.
After the Los Angeles attack, Hollywood started using its megaphone to speak out against anti-Semitism with “The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik, “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing, comedian Michael Rapaport and ” The View “Meghan McCain being one of the most vocal stars in advocating for the Jewish community.
As attacks have escalated around the world, more celebrities have used their voices, albeit more slowly than other social justice movements. An Instagram campaign launched last Friday where social media users would post a blue square to show solidarity with the Jewish people. Stars like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner have posted messages calling for an end to hate crimes against Jews, while figures such as Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber and Demi Lovato have posted calling for peace in the Middle East.
In New York City, there have been numerous public attacks in Times Square and the Diamond District in midtown Manhattan. Over the weekend, two hate-related incidents occurred in Brooklyn. Last week, a man was charged with arson, after allegedly attempting to burn down a Brooklyn synagogue and a Jewish school. In response, the NYPD has stepped up its presence among the city’s Jewish communities.
Politicians including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have all condemned the attacks.
National news outlets like CNN, Fox News and ABC News began covering anti-Semitic attacks more prominently over the weekend, as violent hate crimes continued to occur in the United States, as well as in Great Britain, Germany and France, which has the largest Jewish and Muslim populations. in Europe.
Before Biden and Harris released statements, five prominent American Jewish organizations – the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union and Hadassah – urged the administration to speak out against anti-Semitism last week, as the series of attacks were reported. In a letter, the groups called on the White House to “strongly denounce this dangerous trend and stand with the Jewish community in the face of this wave of hatred before it escalates.”
The ADL reported an increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric on social media, finding that 17,000 tweets for a week in mid-May included variations of the words “Hitler was right.”
Actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen took to Twitter over the weekend to denounce the social media platform for not taking action against anti-Semitic activity.
“The rise of anti-Semitism on the streets is fueled by anti-Semitism on social media,” Cohen tweeted directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “Why are you allowing #HitlerWasRight ?! Those who celebrate the Holocaust aim to perpetuate another. “
Actor Josh Gad – one of Hollywood’s most vocal supporters for many social justice causes – also spoke out against the lack of public support for the Jewish people, compared to other hate groups.
“It never ceases to break my heart with the ease with which anti-Semitism happens to so many people. And how hard it seems for people to speak out against it, ”Gad tweeted. “I will stand up against fanaticism of all kinds, from Islamaphobia to racism. I would like others to do the same when it comes to anti-Semitism. “