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White House to hold roundtable in response to growing antisemitism

Senior Biden administration officials are set to meet with U.S. Jewish leaders on Wednesday.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff speaks at the Hanukkah celebration in the East Room of the White House on Dec. 1, 2021. Photo by Dmitriy Shapiro.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff speaks at the Hanukkah celebration in the East Room of the White House on Dec. 1, 2021. Photo by Dmitriy Shapiro.

The White House will host Jewish leaders for a roundtable discussion on antisemitism later this week, with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (who himself is Jewish) as the host.

White House Jewish Liaison Shelly Greenspan sent the invitation for the roundtable, which will also include White House Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt and Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms.

“I’m in pain right now,” Emhoff tweeted on Friday, in a remark unrelated to the event. “Perpetuating lies, such as the denial of the Holocaust, and praising fascist murderers, is dangerous and fans the flames of antisemitism and hate. We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent.”

The White House roundtable follows a surge of anti-Jewish harrasment and physical attacks. According to data published by the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 saw the highest number of documented reports of harassment and violence towards Jews of any year since 1979, when ADL started tracking such cases.

Antisemitic rhetoric has become increasingly volatile in recent months— particularly with the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, making a series of comments attacking Jews and praising Hitler.

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