Biden, at Holocaust remembrance ceremony, says hatred against Jews brought to life by Hamas attack

President Biden said Tuesday that the hatred of Jews “continues to lie deep in the hearts of too many people in the world” while delivering the keynote address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual Days of Remembrance ceremony.

The president spoke in Washington, D.C. as anti-Israel protests have been disrupting college campuses around the country. 

“That hatred is brought to life on October 7th, in 2023, on a sacred Jewish holiday,” Biden said. “The terrorist group Hamas unleashed the deadliest day of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

“Now, here we are, not 75 years later, but just seven and a half months later, and people are already forgetting that Hamas unleashed this terror. It was Hamas that brutalized Israelis. It was Hamas who took and continues to hold hostages. I have not forgotten, nor have you. And we will not forget,” Biden added. “And as Jews around the world still cope with the atrocities and trauma of that day and its aftermath. We’ve seen a ferocious surge of antisemitism in America and around the world. Vicious propaganda on social media.”


Biden speaks in DC

President Joe Biden speaks at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, May 7. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Biden said the violent attacks and property destruction that is happening on some American college campuses is “not peaceful protest.

“It’s against the law. And we are not a lawless country. We’re a civil society. We uphold the rule of law. And no one should have to hide or be brave just to be themselves,” the president said.

“To the Jewish community, I want you to know I see your fear, your hurt and your pain. Let me reassure you as your president, you’re not alone. You belong,” Biden continued. “You always have. And you always will. And my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad. Even when we disagree.”


Protester smashing window

A protester is seen inside Hamilton Hall at Columbia University on April 30. Biden, in his speech Tuesday, condemned property damage and violence that has come from anti-Israel protests on American college campuses.  (Alex Kent/Getty Images)

He concluded his speech by calling for Americans to “rise against hate.”

Prior to Biden’s remarks, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said “Today we are witnessing American universities quickly becoming hostile places for Jewish students and faculty” and that they have “succumbed to an antisemitic virus.

“Students who were known for producing academic papers are now known for stabbing their Jewish peers in the eyes with Palestinian flags. Faculty who once produced cutting edge research are now linking arms with pro-Hamas protesters and calling for a global intifada. Administrators who were once lauded by their peers for leadership are now barring Jewish faculty and choosing not to protect their Jewish students. And these Jewish students are physically threatened when they walk on campus as their peers hold posters repeating the Nazi propaganda in the program The Final Solution,” Johnson continued. 

Biden speaks at Holocaust remembrance ceremony

President Biden is calling on Americans to rise up against hate. (AP/Evan Vucci)


“Now is a time for moral clarity, and we must put an end to this madness,” he added. “We understand that this rise in antisemitism comes just after the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust on October 7th.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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