On Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed concerns about the rise of antisemitism in the United States during a press briefing. The issue has gained increased attention in recent weeks following the deadly attack in Israel on October 7th, which resulted in the highest death toll among Jews since the Holocaust.
CNN senior White House correspondent MJ Lee asked about President Joe Biden's level of concern regarding the rise of antisemitism in the U.S. Jean-Pierre expressed concerns not only for the Jewish community but also for Muslims who have experienced a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks in the country.
While acknowledging that there have not been any credible threats, Jean-Pierre stated that President Biden takes the issue of hate-fueled attacks against Muslims very seriously. She also pointed to Biden's directive to the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize any threats toward Jews or Muslims in the country.
The press secretary also mentioned that the President has made it a priority to protect all American communities and bring people together. She referred to his previous statements denouncing hate and protecting the soul of the nation.
Jean-Pierre is asked about the rise of anti-Semitism in America and responds by saying “Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks."
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 23, 2023
In response to a question about pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses and other public locations, Jean-Pierre stated that the Biden-Harris administration supports the right to peacefully protest. However, she made it clear that any form of hate, including antisemitism, will not be tolerated or condoned.
The rise of antisemitism has become a global concern since the deadly attack in Israel. In the U.S., pro-Palestinian protests have taken place on college campuses and in other public locations, some of which have presented antisemitic messaging. Videos have emerged of protesters chanting slogans such as "gas the Jews" and "fuck Israel."
Despite these incidents, Jean-Pierre maintained that the administration's stance remains unchanged – all forms of hate, including antisemitism, will be denounced. This includes comments made by Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who referred to Israel as a "racist" nation in July. Jayapal later apologized for her words.
Jean-Pierre reiterated that the apology was the right thing to do and that the administration has made it clear that when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hate, it is considered antisemitism and will not be tolerated.
After her train wreck of a comment yesterday where she denied the existence of threats against Jewish people, Jean-Pierre opens the press briefing today by saying that anti-Semitism is bad. https://t.co/Kwx5pJXZqR pic.twitter.com/3vwS72m2ui
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 24, 2023
The rise of antisemitism in the U.S. is a cause for concern for the Biden-Harris administration, and they are taking steps to address and denounce this issue. The President has directed the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize threats towards Jews and Muslims, and the administration has made it clear that all forms of hate, including antisemitism, will not be tolerated.