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Biden decries antisemitism, protests that forget 'terror' of Oct. 7

President Biden on Tuesday called on Americans who are “ignoring” the events of the Holocaust and the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel to stop, issuing additional criticism of the protests on college campuses across the United States.

The president delivered the keynote address for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony and acknowledged that on college campuses, Jewish students are “blocked, harassed, attacked while walking to class.”

“Antisemitism, antisemitic posters, slogans, calling for the annihilation of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state,” he said in remarks at the U.S. Capitol. “Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the holocaust and Oct. 7, including Hamas’s appalling use of sexual violence to torture and terrorize Jews. It’s absolutely despicable and it must stop.”

The president reiterated his support for peaceful protests and demonstrations, but noted where they have crossed the line on college campuses.

“I understand people have strong beliefs and deep convictions about the world. In America, we respect and protect the fundamental right to free speech, to debate, disagree, to protest peacefully and make our voices heard. I understand; that’s America,” Biden said. “But there is no place on any campus in America, no place in America, for antisemitism, hate speech, or threats of violence of any kind.”

And, he reiterated his “ironclad” commitment to the security of Israel and its right to exist “even when we disagree.” Biden has signaled his unhappiness with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war and lack of facilitation of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Now, here we are. Not 75 years later, but just seven and a half months later and people are already forgetting. They’re already forgetting that Hamas unleashed this terror,” he said. “It was Hamas that brutalized Israels. It was Hamas that took and continues to hold hostages. I have not forgotten, and nor have you, and we will not forget.”

The president last week issued his first speech on the protests on college campuses, during which he criticized violence, vandalism and forms of hate stemming from them, arguing any demonstrations must remain peaceful.

The protests have focused on Biden’s pro-Israel stance throughout the war.

Biden’s remarks Tuesday came as the Israeli military seized the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, after the president warned Netanyahu against such an invasion, and as Hamas has said it agreed to a cease-fire deal but Israel pushed back on it.

In a striking split-screen moment, Biden began his speech at the U.S. Capitol just as adult film actor Stormy Daniels was recounting her sexual encounter with former President Trump, Biden’s likely opponent in November, during her testimony in a New York courthouse.

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox cut away from its play-by-play coverage of the Trump trial to air Biden’s speech.

Source: The Hill

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