update deskReligion

White House: No ‘specific, credible threats’ related to Chanukah

Asked about threats against Jews, John Kirby, a White House spokesman, said the administration is also monitoring threats against Muslims and Arabs.

FBI logo. Credit: Dzelat/Shutterstock.

A reporter asked during the White House press briefing on Dec. 7 if “any specific or credible threats” exist right now to Jewish sites or communities.

“I don’t have any specific, credible threats to speak to, in the sense that—you know, to a certain locality or community or through a certain actor,” replied John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council of the White House.

He assured the reporter and Jews “that we are working very, very hard at the federal level to analyze all the streams of intelligence we can.”

The White House is doing so “domestically and overseas—for any spillover effects from the conflict in Gaza to here at home, particularly against the—the Jewish community as well as the Muslim and Arab communities here in the States,” said Kirby.

The White House has often responded to questions about threats against Jews by talking about Muslims and Arabs. In October, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, pivoted to talking about Muslims when asked about antisemitism. She did the same the following day, ostensibly when clarifying her comment the prior day.

In a statement marking five years since the deadliest anti-Jewish attack in U.S. history, U.S. President Joe Biden said: “We must recommit to speaking out against bigotry and hate in all its forms, whether it is racism, antisemitism or Islamophobia.”

Experts have told JNS that inconsistency governs when antisemitism has been required to have “and other forms of bigotry” and Islamophobia as chaperones.

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