U.S. President Joe Biden issued a new statement on Friday blasting the uptick in anti-Semitism in recent weeks and calling for it to end immediately.
“In the last weeks, our nation has seen a series of anti-Semitic attacks, targeting and terrorizing American Jews,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Listing some of the recent attacks, including an assault on Jewish diners in Los Angeles, as well as vandalism on synagogues and Jewish-owned restaurants, the president called them despicable, unconscionable, un-American” and demanded that “they must stop.”
“I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice,” he said. “We cannot allow the toxic combination of hatred, dangerous lies and conspiracy theories to put our fellow Americans at risk.”
The statement, however, did not note a specific cause for the sudden rise in incidents. Jewish leaders have pointed to the recent Israeli conflict with Hamas in Gaza, in addition to the condemnation and demonization of Israel, including by members of Biden’s own Democratic Party, as playing a role in amplifying the hostile environment towards American Jews.
Biden’s statement comes amid a public outcry among Jewish leaders for the government and law enforcement to do more to address the issue. On Thursday, Jewish groups organized a “Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism.” The heads of Jewish organizations also met virtually with White House officials to express their concerns and voice areas where the Biden administration could do more to combat the scourge.
In his statement, Biden said that Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice will be using the “all of the tools at its disposal to combat hate crimes.”
“We must all stand together to silence these terrible and terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in world history, and pledge to give hate no safe harbor,” he said.