Biden calls on all Americans to fight anti-Semitism on Holocaust Remembrance Day

President Joe Biden delivers the keynote address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on Tuesday. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI
1 of 5 | President Joe Biden delivers the keynote address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on Tuesday. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

May 7 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden called on all Americans to fight anti-Semitism and hate during speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual Day of Remembrance ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Biden said that since the start of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas there has been a "ferocious surge of anti-Semitism in America and around the world," adding that people are "denying, downplaying, rationalizing and ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust."


"Now, here we are, not 75 years later, but just 7 1/2 months later and people are already forgetting, they're already forgetting that Hamas released this terror," he said. "I have not forgotten, nor have you and we will not forget."


The speech came as the White House announced a new plan to combat anti-Semitism on campuses, citing "an alarming rise of anti-Semitic incidents across the country and throughout the world" including most recently "instances of violence and hate during some protests at college campuses" throughout the United States.

"When we protest, protest peacefully and make our voices heard," Biden said. "I understand that's America. But there is no place on any campus in America for anti-Semitism or hate speech, or threats of violence of any kind, whether against Jews or anyone else."

He said, echoing comments he made about the protests last week during an address from the White House, that came amid scores of arrests on campuses as university officials aimed to dismantle encampments set up by protesters.

Biden on Tuesday said that attacks and destroying property are "not peaceful protests."

"It's against the law. We are not a lawless country. We are a civil society. We uphold the rule of law," said Biden.

Biden said that while he is firm on protecting the" fundamental rights" to freedom of speech, "we know that demonizing any minority is a threat to every minority from the very foundation of our democracy."


Biden said Americans must "rise against hate" and see "our common humanity" instead of our differences.

"To the Jewish community, I want you to know, I see your fear, your hurt and your pain. Let me reassure you as your president, you are not alone. You belong. You always have and always will. My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, is ironclad, even when we disagree."

During Biden's speech last week, he said that the National Guard should not be used in response to the campus protests and that the protests had not impacted his stance on policies regarding the Gaza war or general tensions in the region.

On Tuesday, Biden renewed his commitment to the defense of Israel "even when we disagree" and called for all hostages taken in Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel to be returned.

As part of the steps to combat anti-Semitism announced by the White House earlier, Education Department's Civil Rights Office issued new guidance to school districts and colleges on examples of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and what could lead to an investigation by the department.

In November, the Education Department announced 51 colleges and school districts, were being investigated for discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including five complaints alleging anti-Semitic harassment and two that alleged anti-Muslim harassment.


The Department of Homeland Security will create an online campus safety resource guide to provide a range of financial, educational and technical assistance. DHS will also develop best practices for community-based violence and terrorism prevention to reduce assaults and attacks.

The State Department's Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism will bring together tech firms to identify best practices to address anti-Semitic content on the Internet, along with symbols and themes associated with violent extremism.

The White House said it was taking the action because of the rise of anti-Semitic violence on campuses across the country and the world. It said those incidents have played out on college campuses in the United States at times.

"Today's new actions build on the work of the president's National Strategy to Counter anti-Semitism, the first-ever such strategy, which was released one year ago this month," the White House said. "The strategy represents the most comprehensive and ambitious U.S. government effort to counter anti-Semitism in American history.

Latest Headlines