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Today, we – U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt and Israel’s Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism Michal Cotler-Wunsh – condemn the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas that occurred on and after October 7, 2023.  As details of Hamas’ terrorist attacks become more apparent, our shock at their barbarism only grows.  The brutal massacres, rape, looting, and kidnapping perpetrated by Hamas have no justification or legitimacy and must be universally condemned.  There is never any justification for terrorism.

We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those who were abducted, among them women, children, and elderly. In no reality can a civilized humanity accept such inhumane crimes as those perpetrated by Hamas.

Our governments have the firm understanding that Israel can and should take any and all necessary action to defend its country and protect its people from Hamas terrorists consistent with the rule of law and the law of war.  Civilians in Gaza are not to blame for the horrific terrorism of Hamas, which has scant regard for Palestinian lives – using people as human shields.  We deplore Hamas’ cruel measures to prevent civilians in Gaza from evacuating, and we take note of the evacuation and displacement of over 500,000 Israeli civilians from their homes.  We mourn the loss of every civilian life — Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, as well as civilians of every faith and every nationality who have been killed.

Since Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel, we have seen a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents around the world, including in the context of anti-Israel protests.  We denounce antisemitic slogans and symbols at recent protests worldwide, including chants of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews,” as well as the display of Nazi symbols.  We condemn those who took to the streets of cities like London, Paris, and New York to celebrate Hamas’ mass murder and hostage taking of civilians.

Reveling in the murder and rape of civilians, chanting “From the river to the sea,” and calling for the destruction of Israel do not advance the security, prosperity, freedom, democracy, or dignity of the Palestinian people. Such hatred only makes peace harder to achieve.  Together, we stress that there is no place for hate, not against Jews, not against Muslims, not against anyone, anywhere.

Effectively combating hate requires people of conscience to build coalitions across faiths and communities.  Yesterday, we met with leaders of the Jewish community in the United States to hear from them how we and other partners in the international community can work together to identify and combat antisemitism in all its manifestations.  Antisemitic ideology is central to the guiding principles of Hamas whose October 7 massacres led to the single-worst mass killing of Jews since the Holocaust.

U.S. Department of State

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