Biden condemns anti-Semitism after swastika was scribbled in wall at State Department
- President Joe Biden condemned anti-Semitism after a swastika was found in the wall of a State Department elevator
- “Let me be clear: anti-Semitism has no place in the State Department, in my government or anywhere else in the world,” Biden said.
- Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the swastika, a symbol of Nazi hatred, had been removed and the incident is under investigation.
President Joe Biden condemned anti-Semitism on Tuesday after a swastika was found in the wall of an elevator at the State Department.
“Let me be clear: anti-Semitism has no place in the State Department, in my government, or anywhere in the world. It’s up to all of us not to give hate a safe haven and stand up to bigotry wherever we find it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the swastika, a symbol of Nazi hatred, had been removed and the incident is under investigation.
“The hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated. As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism is not a relic of the past. We must stand up relentlessly and reject anti-Semitism,” he tweeted.
A spokesman for the State Department confirmed the incident and said the secretary had sent a memo about it to staff.
President Joe Biden condemned anti-Semitism after a swastika was found in the wall of an elevator at the State Department and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the swastika, a symbol of Nazi hatred, had been removed
The swastika was found in an elevator near his special envoy’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. axios reported.
Blinken said anti-Semitism can lead to other hateful behavior.
“We also know from our own history and from the history of others that anti-Semitism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other hatred. None of these ideologies should have a home in our workplace or our country,” he wrote.
He thanked his Jewish colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their services.
“To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your efforts and how proud we are to be your colleagues. And that includes our very diverse, dedicated team in Washington and around the world. It is an honor to serve alongside you on behalf of the American people,” he noted.
The swastika was found in an elevator near the office of his special envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism at the State Department
The State Department is in the process of appointing a special envoy to combat anti-Semitism.
The Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,024 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2020, the third-highest number since the group began documenting them in 1979.
Blinken’s stepfather, Samuel Pisar, survived two concentration camps as a child and worked as an adult to raise awareness of the Holocaust in Europe. Blinken grew up with Jewish traditions.
He spoke of his stepfather when then-elected President Biden named him his candidate to head the State Department in November last year.
“My late stepfather, Samuel Pisar, was one of 900 children at his school in Bialystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps,” said Blinken.
‘At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the Bavarian forests. From his hiding place he heard the rumble of a tank. Instead of an iron cross, he saw a five-pointed white star.’
“He ran to the tank. The hatch opened. An African-American GI looked down on him. He fell to his knees and said the only three words he knew in English that his mother had taught him: God Bless America. The GI lifted him into the tank, in America, to freedom.’
Samuel Pisar died in 2015. His father was murdered by the Gestapo during World War II and his mother and sister died in Auschwitz. He wrote a memoir, ‘Of Blood and Hope’, about how he survived the Nazis.
Blinken concluded his family’s story by saying, “That’s what America represents to the world, however imperfect.”