Thank you, Richard, and thank you to the American Bar Association for giving me a moment to share a few words and for hosting at this crucial time. And, nice to see you, Alyza. Especially during such times. It’s always heartwarming to see so many friends from over the years engage in such important work…. 

As we all know the terrorist attacks on October 7th opened the floodgates of antisemitism. In parts of Europe and elsewhere, there were more antisemitic incidences following 10/07 Hamas attacks in Israel than in all of 2022. Worldwide we are witnessing a surge in antisemitic harassment and attacks on Jews that we haven’t seen in decades. We read story after story about vandalism of Jewish sites and Jewish communities debating whether to take down their mezuzahs or put them on the inside of their door or cover their kippahs when in public. We also see people in the street marching against this latest spike in antisemitism and standing with the Jewish people. Just like we saw with some 300,000 folks on the Mall recently. We hear government officials calling out antisemitism and people condemning the Jew-hatred that is on the rise, surging in social media. But there’s still a lot of work to do as we all know. Antisemitism comes in many forms and lately we often see it manifest through some forms of criticism of Israel. Obviously, while criticism of the Israeli government’s policies or actions are not inherently antisemitic, some statements and activities can cross over the line into antisemitism. For example, just to name one, holding Jews around the world responsible for the words and actions of the Israeli, or frankly any other government, is antisemitic. Targeting Jewish communities with hate, intimidation, or violence is not defending the rights of Palestinians or human rights more broadly it’s antisemitism pure and simple. As Secretary Blinken and others have noted, antisemitism is also the canary in the coal mine. It is often a harbinger of hate and violence towards other groups and a threat to democratic values and national stability and world stability. Understanding how antisemitism manifests itself is crucial in fighting the cycle of hate.  

That’s why so many countries are embracing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, working definition of antisemitism. The IHRA working definition, and its examples, help all levels of government, law enforcement, international organizations, media, public figures, civil society, interfaith groups, sports teams, and educators identify and call out antisemitic hatred and discrimination, report and investigate hate crimes, and promote tolerance. It’s also critical that all governments take steps to ensure the safety and security of their Jewish population during this time of heightened tensions. We’ve seen many countries increase resources to safeguard Jewish communities and we continue to urge all governments to take the security of Jewish communities seriously and to use all resources at their disposal to ensure the safety and security of these communities. Including appropriate investigation, prosecution, and punishment for those who commit antisemitic hate crimes. Combating antisemitism requires a whole-of-government approach, and a whole-of-society approach. More than ever, we must look at our roles and understand how we can use our positions to fight this pernicious hatred. I’m thankful that you are taking the time to engage with me now to do just this. And I’d like to understand how you too can be how we together can be, part of the greater solution.  

As we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day next week in honor of the memory of the 6 million Jewish victims, we must redouble our efforts to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. The lessons of the Holocaust teach us that hatred, if left unchecked, leads to ever widening horrors spreading destruction on entire communities and threatening national and international security. Together, we can ensure that the voices of the past are never silenced and that all people are able to lead a life in dignity and safety unmarred by hate. We’re, of course, seriously concerned by the robust uptick in antisemitism globally. Just before I conclude my remarks, let me please touch on a particularly deeply troubling development over the last few months. 

I have particular concern that since the October 7th Hamas attacks, there’s been an increase in the People’s Republic of China’s state media and online discourse of antisemitic tropes that Jews control the United States through deep U.S.-Israel ties, as well as control over banks, the media, and that they have influence over government leaders. For example, in an October 2023 program on “uncovering the Israel elements of U.S. elections in history”, PRC state media (China’s central television) alleged that “Jews who represent 3% of the U.S. population control 70% of its wealth.” Conjecture that Jews control the U.S. government and U.S. wealth is an antisemitic falsehood intended to degrade trust in the United States, our democratic institutions, and ultimately democracy around the globe. We emphasize there is no place for hatred of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Arabs, Palestinians, Israelis, or any group. Neither antisemitism or other forms of hate promote peace or rights of any particular group. We will continue our efforts to engage with governments and civil society in the Middle East, North Africa, and other Muslim-majority countries to address antisemitism, build interfaith understanding, and dealing with the conflict in the Middle East from other efforts to increase understanding and acceptance between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.  

Thank you, Richard. I really appreciate the platform. 

U.S. Department of State

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