Deborah Lipstadt: ‘Jew-hatred is an affront to the integrity of our laws’

Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, spoke to a crowd of nearly 300,000 people at the “March for Israel” in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14.

“Two hundred and 30 years ago, President George Washington reassured the Jews of Newport that our new nation would give bigotry no sanction and persecution no assistance; his meaning and his message were quite specific,” she said. “In the United States of America, the bigotry of antisemitism must have no place, no quarter, no haven, no home, antisemitism, or more explicitly, Jew-hatred—the world’s longest, oldest form of prejudice, [which] has pierced and permeated too many countries, too many cultures, faith communities.”

Echoing previous statements she has made describing the universality of antisemitism, Lipstadt described how hatred “comes at us from all political, religious and cultural directions. Groups that agree on nothing else, agree on their suspicion and hatred of Jews, and if we needed any reminder about the validity of that claim, the past five weeks have made it plain.”

She emphasized the bipartisan condemnation of antisemitism, describing how as a representative of U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the U.S. government, “I can tell you without hesitation regardless of party or political persuasion, at the White House or in the Congress, at home and abroad, this government stands shoulder to shoulder against Jew-hatred.”

Lipstadt explained how the threat of hate towards Jewish people went beyond bigotry against one group—that it was “far more than just that. It is an affront to the integrity of our laws. It is a gateway to prejudice, racism, injustice of every form. It is a direct danger to our democracy and we, the United States government, will fight it. Full stop.”

The special envoy laid out the extent of ongoing antisemitic crimes and intimidations, and that “when Holocaust memorials are vandalized in Canada, France, Greece, Denmark, or the United States, when Molotov cocktails are thrown at synagogues in Berlin and Montreal, when Jews peacefully protesting are physically or verbally intimidated, when Jewish children are harassed, when protesters chant ‘gas the Jews,’ when Jewish stars are painted on buildings housing Jews, that is not expressing support for Palestinian rights, that is Jew-hatred, pure and simple.” 


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