President Biden to the Jewish Community: ‘You are not alone. My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, Security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad.’

Seven months after Hamas unleashed unbridled hate and antisemitism after its senseless terror attack on civilians in Israel on October 7, President Biden became the foremost international voice against what he aptly described as the “ferocious surge in antisemitism in America and the world.”

The U.S. President has made a powerful speech today, in his keynote address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance ceremony. 

The President compared the seven decades since the Holocaust to the seven months since the October 7 terror attacks, contrasted today’s rising harassment of Jews to the hatred in the lead up to the Holocaust, and made a solemn commitment to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people:

“The Jewish community, I want you to know: I see your fear, your hurt, your pain. Let me reassure you, as your president, you’re not alone. You belong. You always have and you always will. And my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad even when we disagree.”

Here are a few things you should know about his speech today:

  • Education About Hate: The President made a strong plea for remembering what happened when hate and indifference led to the murder of six million Jews. He asked Americans to teach our children and grandchildren about what happened and quoted the late Elie Wiesel: “One person of integrity can make a difference.”
  • Don’t Ignore Antisemitism: He warned against “the perils of indifference, the complicity of silence.”
  • Similarities Between Now & Then: The President drew a frightening comparison between the intimidation that Jews face today and whathappened in the days before the Holocaust: “Vicious propaganda on social media. Jews forced to keep their — hide their kippahs under baseball hats, tuck their Jewish stars into their shirts. On college campuses, Jewish students blocked, harassed, attacked while walking to class. Antisemitism, antisemitic posters, slogans, calling for the annihilation of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.”
  • Stop The Denial, whether about the Holocaust or the suffering after October 7.  Said the President: “Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust and October 7th, including Hamas’s appalling use of sexual violence to torture and terrorize Jews. It’s absolutely despicable, and it must stop.”
  • No Campus Can Stoke Anti-Jewish Hate“There is no place on any campus in America — any place in America — for antisemitism or hate speech or threats of violence of any kind whether against Jews or anyone else… We are not a lawless country. We’re a civil society. We uphold the rule of law, and no one should have to hide or be brave just to be themselves.”

We invite you to watch the President’s speech on White House’s official online channel or read his full remarks as transcribed by The New York Times here.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.