President Joe Biden called antisemitism a “stain on the soul of our nation” and “despicable” in an op-ed ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, according to CNN.
The president’s remarks come just hours before Jewish people around the world will commemorate Passover, marking the exit from Egypt after 400 years of slavery, according to CNN. Biden condemned the rising tide of antisemitism over the past several years, calling such acts “unconscionable and despicable.” (RELATED: Palestinians Barricade Temple Mount Mosque Ahead Of Passover)
“Tonight, Jews around the world will gather around the seder table to celebrate Passover,” Biden said, according to CNN. “But Passover is more than just a recounting of the past. It is also a cautionary tale of the present and our future as a democracy. As Jews read from the Haggadah about how evil in every generation has tried to destroy them, antisemitism is rising to record levels today.”
The president mentioned recent FBI statistics that found antisemitic attacks had risen to over half of the total hate crimes in the U.S. in 2021, according to CNN. The administration had initially been criticized for “botching” the data after 22% of law enforcement agencies failed to report their hate crime statistics, which Jews claimed meant that the FBI’s data dramatically underscored the severity of the problems facing their community.
After the report was updated several months later, the total number of antisemitic hate crimes jumped from 324 to 814 in 2021, according to the FBI, and the number of assaults increased by 16% from 2020.
“We see this evil across society,” Biden said. “Terrorist attacks on synagogues. Antisemitic graffiti and acts in elementary, middle and high schools. Jewish students harassed on college campuses. Jews wearing religious attire beaten and shot on streets.”
In response to the severity of the attacks against Jewish Americans, Biden said that his administration had begun to put plans in place to combat antisemitism. The president pointed to the appointment of Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust expert and ambassador-level special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism globally, and the creation of an antisemitism taskforce designed to create strategies to fight hatred towards Jews as evidence of his efforts to support the Jewish community.
Biden has been criticized in recent weeks for his administration’s comments about Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said earlier this month that the president’s administration was trying to “topple” Netanyahu after allegations surfaced that the State Department was funding anti-Israel and anti-Netanyahu groups.
The White House did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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