update deskAntisemitism

Biden ‘aware’ of but no comment on threats to hundreds of synagogues 

“There’s no place in America for any type of violence,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary.

Police controlled bomb squad robot inspecting a suspicious backpack. Credit: Digital Storm/Shutterstock.
Police controlled bomb squad robot inspecting a suspicious backpack. Credit: Digital Storm/Shutterstock.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, was asked whether U.S. President Joe Biden has been briefed on hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish facilities over the weekend.

“The FBI has said that they appear coordinated and could have originated outside of the United States,” a reporter said. “Can we expect to hear from him at any point on them, and what is the White House’s current understanding of where this could have come from?”

“We are closely tracking hundreds of emailed bomb threats to Jewish synagogues, schools and other institutions over the weekend. Local and federal law enforcement are investigating each and every one of them,” Jean-Pierre said. 

“The president has been very clear, and I have said this many times right here at this podium: Antisemitism, threats of intimidation or violence of any kind is unacceptable, it is dangerous and it—there is no place of that type of threat or any threats of violence in America,” she added.

Pressed about whether Biden was briefed specifically about the threats, Jean-Pierre said “The president is aware of these threats.”

“And, obviously, we will do everything that we can to—to ensure that—that communities—the Jewish community, specifically, as—as were—as these threats are being targeted at—feel safe—religious communities, more broadly, obviously, feel safe,” Jean-Pierre said, per a White House transcript. “And so, this is—certainly, this type of an—this antisemitism and hate is unacceptable, and we will continue to be loud and clear about that.”

Asked if Biden is planning to issue a comment about the threats, Jean-Pierre replied: “I just don’t have anything to share specifically about the president making an announcement or speaking to this directly. The FBI, obviously, is on top of this, working with local government.”

Jean-Pierre added that there is no place in America for “any type of violence,” and people should feel safe “in a synagogue or any religious community should be safe.”

The White House press secretary has answered questions about antisemitism in the past by pivoting to Islamophobia.

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