President Biden will host a Hanukkah celebration at the White House on Monday, where he is expected to condemn the rise in antisemitism in the United States and call on other leaders to do the same.
The president and First Lady Jill Biden will host Jewish leaders for a reception on the second day of Hanukkah. There will be a blessing and a menorah lighting, a White House official said.
The president will also deliver remarks in which he will argue that “silence is complicity” in the face of a rise in antisemitism, and that religious hate and violence have no place in America, the official said.
The Hanukkah celebration comes on the heels of a series of high-profile instances of antisemitism.
The rapper Ye has in recent weeks espoused antisemitic rhetoric about Jewish people and expressed his admiration for the Nazis. Former President Donald Trump then hosted Ye and Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist and Holocaust denier, for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate last month.
There have been growing concerns in recent years about an increase in antisemitism. Data from the Anti-Defamation League found 2021 saw the highest number of documented reports of harassment and violence toward Jews of any year since 1979, when it started tracking such cases.
Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, hosted a roundtable earlier this month at the White House on combatting antisemitism. And Biden last week announced an inter-agency task force that will develop a national strategy for fighting antisemitism and other forms of religious hate.
Among the attendees at Monday’s reception will be Bronia Brandman, a Holocaust survivor and retired public school teacher, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, and Ambassador Michele Taylor, who is the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.
The Bidens this holiday season are also adding the first-ever White House menorah to the White House collection. The menorah was created by the Executive Residence Carpentry Shop last year, according to the White House.
Source: The Hill