update deskU.S. News

B’nai B’rith ‘surprised, disappointed’ no SOTU mention of Jew-hatred

The presence of former hostage Mia Schem and relatives of hostages at the State of the Union address was “especially fitting and meaningful,” the international nonprofit said.

Seth Riklin and Daniel Mariaschin, president and CEO respectively of B’nai B’rith International, watched U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday night “with a keen focus on Israel and antisemitism.”

There heard about the former, but there was dead air on the latter.

“While the president noted ‘Israel has a right to go after Hamas,’ we were surprised and disappointed the president did not address the growing threat of antisemitism across the United States,” the nonprofit leaders stated.

Daniel S. Mariaschin. Credit: Courtesy.

“Hamas must not be allowed to rearm under any ceasefire agreement. Israel must be able to continue its mission to remove Hamas from control of Gaza,” the two added. “As long as Hamas remains in power, there can be no security for Israel and no peace for the region.”

Riklin and Mariaschin called for the immediate release of the hostages and wrote that it “is despicable there are still babies, children, women and men held as hostages, 153 days after Hamas terrorists abducted them.”

“It is imperative that Hamas is eliminated as a military force, and the world community must ensure Hamas has no future role in Gaza,” they added.

The leaders added that it was “especially fitting and meaningful” to have former hostage Mia Schem and relatives of at least 17 hostages held in captivity in Gaza, present at the State of the Union as guests in the gallery.

They further called on the Biden administration to “fulfill its promise to codify the principles contained in the 2019 White House Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism,” which they said “would greatly strengthen the effort to fight antisemitism in schools and on campuses.”

They also renewed their call for a “domestic antisemitism czar, as a counterpoint to U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt, whose portfolio is international in scope.”

“B’nai B’rith has raised this several times early in the administration, but Oct. 7 has elevated the stakes,” they wrote.

They also welcomed Biden’s announcement about Medicare prescription drug costs and his support for Social Security and extension of the Affordable Care Act. The two called for more unity about U.S. border security.

They also wrote that “it was important that the president announced a plan of action against Iran, which is using proxy groups to attack Israel and the United States.”

Iran “inches ever closer to nuclear weapons capabilities,” they added. “Biden noted that part of creating stability in the Middle East involves stopping the threat posed by Iran.”

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