President Biden condemned antisemitism Friday, which marked five years since a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.
Biden noted in the statement that the anniversary of the shooting comes on the heels of the deadliest attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust: Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel at the beginning of October. The attack killed more than 1,400 Israelis, and the group took more than 200 hostages captive.
The president echoed his pledge to work to combat acts of antisemitism.
“To the Jewish community, I stand with you,” Biden said in the statement. “We will continue to condemn antisemitism at every turn – and aggressively implement the first-ever national strategy to counter antisemitism.”
“Because hate never goes away, it only hides until it is given just a little oxygen,” he added. “And as a nation, we must ensure hate is never given any oxygen.”
Biden noted the rise in antisemitism at home and acknowledged the effect that the Hamas attack has had on Jewish communities in America. He also denounced other acts of prejudice, including racism and Islamophobia.
Israel’s vow to strike back against Hamas targets in Gaza has sparked concerns of a humanitarian crisis in the region and has driven people around the world to take sides.
Acts of Islamaphobia and antisemitism have been on the rise since the onset of the conflict, according to advocacy groups.
“This devastating atrocity has brought to the surface painful memories left by millennia of Antisemitism and the genocide of the Jewish people,” Biden said. “The fear is amplified by the alarming rise of Antisemitism abroad and at home.”
“During these difficult times, we must never lose hope or give up on a better tomorrow. We must recommit to speaking out against bigotry and hate in all its forms, whether it is racism, Antisemitism, or Islamophobia,” Biden continued. “And we must come together as fellow Americans to heal the soul of our nation.”