A swastika was found Monday carved into the wall of a U.S. State Department elevator near the office of the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, the department confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a message Tuesday to department employees condemning the incident and confirming an investigation into it, according to a person familiar with the incident, first reported by Axios.
“As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past. It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department, or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it,” Blinken wrote in the message.
Outrageous! A swastika has been found in the @StateDept near the office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.
We thank @SecBlinken for his unequivocal denunciation of this awful act.
Swift action is required to apprehend the culprit.https://t.co/G69PzJ6P0e
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) July 27, 2021
“We also know from our own history and from the histories of other nations that anti-Semitism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other hatreds. None of these ideologies should have a home in our workplace or our nation,” he continued.
The swastika was found in an elevator in the department’s Harry S Truman building in D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, according to Blinken’s note. It is unclear if there were cameras or if there was any security around. (RELATED: Israeli Embassy Blasts Chinese State TV For Peddling ‘Blatant Antisemitism’ On US-Israel Relationship)
“To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues. And that goes for our entire diverse and dedicated team in Washington and around the world. I know I can speak for the Deputy Secretaries and senior leaders across the Department when I say that it’s an honor to serve alongside you on behalf of the American people,” Blinken concluded.
Former President Donald Trump’s deputy special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Ellie Cohanim, called the incident “horrific” in a statement to the DCNF and demanded that President Joe Biden name a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and appoint an “Antisemitism Czar” to the White House.
“The Harry S. Truman building is a heavily secured, heavily guarded building and it is incumbent upon Secretary Blinken to use all of the resources at his disposal to identify the perpetrator who would dare deface a US government building with this Nazi symbol of Jew-hatred outside the very offices of the Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism,” Cohanim said.
Biden has yet to appoint an anti-Semitism envoy as incidents of anti-Semitism remain at historic levels. The Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,024 incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. in 2020. Of the total reported incidents, there were 751 acts of vandalism, 517 where swastikas were present.
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