White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pivoted a question about antisemitism by talking about “hate-fueled attacks” against Muslims during Monday’s press briefing.
CNN senior White House correspondent MJ Lee asked about President Joe Biden’s “level of concern” regarding the rise of antisemitism since Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel in the deadly Oct. 7 attack. The press secretary expressed concerns for Muslims, stating they have endured a disproportionate number of “hate-fueled attacks” across the U.S.
“We have not seen any credible threats, I know there’s always questions about credible threats and so I just want to make sure that’s out there. But look, Muslim and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks, and certainly President Biden understands that many of our Muslim, Arab, Arab Americans and Palestinian American loved ones and neighbors are worried about the hate being directed at their communities and that is something you heard the president speak to in his address just last Thursday,” Jean-Pierre replied.
The press secretary pointed to Biden directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prioritize any threats towards Jews or Muslims in the U.S. (RELATED: Reporter Asks KJP If Biden Will Visit A Mosque To Have ‘Faith Experience’ In Coming Days)
“As you know, the president ran on protecting communities, obviously bringing people together, protecting the soul of the nation,” she continued. “And so, that is something that the president takes very, very seriously and we’re gonna continue to denounce any sort of hate towards any American here, and so that’s what we’re gonna continue to be steadfast on. Again, he has advised, directed his homeland security to make sure that they’re on top of it.”
Antisemitism has surged across the U.S. and the globe since the deadly attack that caused the highest death toll among Jews since the Holocaust. Pro-Palestinian protests have emerged on college campuses across the country, notably Harvard University, where over 30 student groups wrote a joint letter in support of Palestine.
Protesters attending a rally in New York City’s Times Square presented swastikas and antisemitic slogans as they blamed Israel for the attack. Democratic New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman were the only two members of the far-left congressional group, “The Squad,” to publicly denounce the rally.
A video from Oct. 9 showed pro-Palestinian protesters chanting “gas the Jews” and “fuck Israel” outside of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Jean-Pierre said Monday that pro-Palestinian protesters have a right to “peacefully protest” on college campuses and other public locations across the U.S., despite the demonstrators’ antisemitic messaging. She vowed to condemn any form of hate, including antisemitism.
The press secretary condemned Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s accusation about Israel being a “racist” nation during a July 18 press briefing. Jayapal later apologized for the remark after receiving backlash from both sides of the aisle.
“The apology was the right thing to do and we’ve been very clear, when it comes to antisemitism, this administration and the entire Biden-Harris administration have been clear, that when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hate, that’s antisemitism, and that is unacceptable,” Jean-Pierre said.