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Biden White House launches campaign against rising antisemitism

The renewed focus comes after a series of antisemitic threats and actions were reported in recent days in the U.S.
Biden White House launches campaign against rising antisemitism
Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 30, 2023

The administration under President Joe Biden has announced a renewed campaign to speak out against and combat the antisemitic incidents which have been on the rise across the U.S. The move comes after a series of reports of antisemitic incidents surfaced in recent days and weeks, including threats made online against Cornell University’s Jewish community.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "When speech crosses over into hate speech and into hate crimes, that's when we have to make sure that students know that we'll step up and protect them."

The state and federal effort to address concerns has spread across multiple federal departments, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, the White House said. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday, "To the students at Cornell, and on campuses across the country, we’re tracking these threats closely. We’re thinking of you and we’re going to do everything we can both at Cornell and across the country to counter antisemitism."

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Biden said on Friday, "We are facing a rising tide of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination that are fueling violence and hate across our country." 

The president said, "Around the world, billions of people live in countries where they are either persecuted or prevented from freely choosing, practicing, teaching, or leaving their faith. That's especially true for members of religious minority communities [who] too often endure intimidation, violence, and unequal protection under the law, while also facing restrictions on their movement, constraints on their access to education and health care."

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights said it will be expediting how it processes reports and complaints of discrimination, and will focus on enforcing prohibitions for certain types of Islamophobia and antisemitism. The department will host web sessions to inform students about how to file complaints. 

Biden said, "The United States will continue to defend religious freedom, today and always." 

The president said, "On day one of my administration, we rescinded the discriminatory travel ban against majority-Muslim countries, which betrayed our long history of welcoming people of all faiths and no faith at all. We established a new government-wide group to counter Islamophobia, antisemitism, and other forms of religious discrimination within the United States, and released the first National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism."

Biden said Monday he was "very" concerned about rising antisemitism. 

On Monday, second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona joined senior Biden administration officials and leaders of major American Jewish organizations to discuss plans to counter an "alarming" spike in incidents of antisemitism at schools and on college campuses.

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