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Biden compares Hamas attack to Holocaust in antisemitism warning

1 min

U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that the threat of antisemitism is growing in the United States, including on college campuses, as his support for Israel's assault on Gaza divides Democrats and alienates some young voters.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson (R-LA) hold photographs of the Holocaust victims on the day he addresses rising levels of antisemitism, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, May 7, 2024. Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein

U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that the threat of antisemitism is growing in the United States, including on college campuses, as his support for Israel's assault on Gaza divides Democrats and alienates some young voters.

In a speech honoring the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, Biden joined a heated American debate about Jewish security, Zionism, free speech and support for Israel, in the country with the largest Jewish population after Israel.

Addressing a bipartisan audience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual commemoration, he warned of the risk that the truth about the systematic killing of Jews during World War Two would be lost.

"'Never again' simply translated for me means: Never forget. Never forgetting means we must keep telling the story, we must keep teaching the truth," Biden said at the U.S. Capitol's Emancipation Hall. "The truth is we're at risk of people not knowing the truth."

Biden spoke seven months to the day after the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 by Israeli tallies, in what he has called the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.

"This hatred (of Jews) continues to lie deep in the hearts of too many people in the world and requires our continued vigilance and outspokenness," Biden said.

"Now here we are, not 75 years later, but just seven and a half months later, and people are already forgetting ... that Hamas unleashed this terror," he said. "I have not forgotten, nor have you. And we will not forget."

Biden said his commitment to Israel was ironclad, even amid disagreements with the country's government. 

By Trevor Hunnicutt

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