WASHINGTON: Joe Biden promised Monday that he would not remain silent in the face of growing anti-Semitism in the United States, as the president hosted a reception at the White House celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday of lights.
“I recognize your fear, your hurt, your concern that this vile and venomous thing is becoming too normal,” Biden said as he stood next to a menorah, a traditional Jewish candelabra, lit by guests to mark the second of the eight nights of the festival.
“Silence is complicity,” the president said. “We must not remain silent…I will not be silent. America will not be silent.”
Among the guests were Holocaust survivor Bronia Brandman and Charlie Cytron-Walker, the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, which was the scene of a hostage situation in January.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the United States experienced a record 2,717 anti-Semitic acts such as assaults, verbal attacks and property damage in 2021, a 34% year-on-year increase.
In its own report, the American Jewish Committee, one of the nation’s oldest Jewish advocacy organizations, said 39 percent of American Jews admitted to “changing their behavior, limiting their activities, and concealing their Jewishness because of concerns about anti-Semitism”. while around one in four had themselves experienced anti-Semitism in the past year.
Experts have expressed concern over a trivialization of anti-Jewish rhetoric, highlighted by public figures including rapper Kanye West, who recently dropped “I love Hitler” in an online interview with a conspiracy theorist.
For his part, former President Donald Trump sparked outrage for dining with a known white supremacist and Holocaust denier last month at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

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