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White House Says The Problem is Not Anti-Semitism, It’s Islamophobia

Anti-Semitic hate crimes have increased by 35 percent over last year, according to a survey published in April. Since then, the physical and verbal attacks on American Jews has exploded. Hundreds of Thousands of Americans are marching in the streets literally calling for the genocide of Jews.

And yet the White House says the most pressing issue in America is not antisemitism, but Islamphobia.

“Muslim and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks.  And certainly President Biden understands that many of our Muslim, Arab — Arab — Arab Americans and Palestinian American loved ones and neighbors are worried about the hate being directed at their communities,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told astonished reporters.

She also defended college students who are publicly advocating for the extermination of the Jewish nation — saying it was a matter of free speech.

“And so, as it relates to peaceful protesting, people have the right to do that.  But we’re just not going to get into blow by blows of what’s going on across the country,” she said.

Muslims slaughtered Jewish families and burned children alive. They beheaded babies in the name of Allah. And yet the O’Biden Administration says the true victims in the Middle East are the followers of the “religion of peace.”

Jewish lives and Christian lives don’t matter.

Following is the full transcript of Jean-Pierre’s remarks with White House reporters.

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Q    Was the President briefed on Samantha Woll, the leader of a synagogue in Detroit who was stabbed to death?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, obviously, our hearts go out to — to the family — to the families there.  It’s a devastating, devastating news story. 

The President obviously is — is — just like everyone else is paying close attention and saw those reports.  I don’t have anything else to add. 

Obviously, the investigation continues, and we are willing to assist in any way.  I just don’t have anything else beyond that. 

Q    What is his level of concern right now about the potential rise of antisemitism in light of everything that’s going on in Israel?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, a couple of things.  Look, we have not seen any credible threats.  I know there’s been always questions about credible threats.  And so, just want to make sure that that’s out there. 

But, look, Muslim and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks.  And certainly President Biden understands that many of our Muslim, Arab — Arab — Arab Americans and Palestinian American loved ones and neighbors are worried about the hate being directed at their communities.  And that is something you heard the President speak to in his — in his address just last — last Thursday. 

And so, one of the things that the President has done is directed his team — Homeland Security team to prioritize prevention and disruption of any emerging threats that could harm the Jewish, the Muslim, Arab Americans or — or any other communities.  And that is something that the President has sought to do and — and — since day one.

As you know, the President ran on — on — on, you know, bringing commu- — protecting communities, obviously, but bringing people together, the soul — protecting the soul of the nation.  And so that is something that the President takes very, very seriously. 

And we — you know, we’re going to continue to denounce any sort of hate towards any American here.  And so, that’s what we’re going to continue to be steadfast on.  Again, he has — he has advised — directed his Homeland Security team to make sure that they’re on top of this. 

Go ahead. 

Q    Are there specific deliverables you’re hoping to get out of the Australian meeting this week or is it more of a consultation?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, we’ll have more on the agenda for the meeting.  I certainly don’t want to get ahead of the deliverables that will come out on Wednesday.  But certainly, we’ll have more to share. 

And obviously, we tend to have these background calls that NSC leads.  And so, we’ll — we’ll have some more in-depth on the priorities and the agenda and what we’re looking to do. 

Oh, I haven’t called on you.  Go ahead.

Q    Thank you.  I know John Kirby addressed the protests on college campuses, and I appreciate that the President respects First Amendment rights to protest, but does the President view anti-Israel protests and sentiment on college campuses as antisemitism?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  So, look, I’m not going to get into what’s happening across the country in — at different universities.  I’m not going to get into the specifics.

As the Admiral said, the First Amendment right — right? — that’s what something — a peaceful protest is really part of — part of our democracy, being able for folks to — to be able to express their feelings. 

I’m not going to get into any, you know, specifics on that.  The President has been very clear in wanting to make sure that Jewish Americans, wanting to make sure that Arab Americans, Muslims are protected here.  That is what he believes in — that we — they have the right to live their lives and to feel protection and to feel like they’re able to be part of a community.  The President has been very, very clear on denouncing any type of violence. 

And so, as it relates to peaceful protesting, people have the right to do that.  But we’re just not going to get into blow by blows of what’s going on across the country. 

Q    Well, not —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  The President has been very clear —

Q    Not to get —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  — very clear —

Q    — into blow by blow, but the President himself said “silence is complicity.”  So, if there’s antisemitic letters being sent by students or protests, sentiment at protests —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Of course — of course, the President doesn’t — is — is against antisemitism.  Of course.  This is a president that you have heard me say is parti- — wants to protect communities, whether it’s the Jewish community, the Arab American pre- — community, the Palestinian community.  This is someone who is going to speak out against antisemitism.  Of course. 

But you’re asking me — you’re — you were kind of conflating the two.  You were asking me about pro- — protests, and you were asking me about this question. 

Q    I think if you talked to a lot of the protesters, you’ll hear antisemitic —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I hear you. 

Q    — comments.  That they accuse —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  And we’re going to always denounce —

Q    — Israel of genocide.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  We’re always going to denounce antisemitism.  But at the same time, people have the right to peacefully protest. 

But we, in this administration, are going to always denounce antisemitism, any form of hate — any form of hate.  Whether it’s against the Jewish community — right? — antisemitism, against the Muslim community, Arab American community, or the Palestin- — we are going to denounce any form of hate that comes towards those communities.

As it relates to protests — peaceful protests, people have the right to do that.  But this is an administration, obviously, obviously, that’s going to be very forceful and very clear about denouncing antisemitism. 

Go ahead, Phil.

Q    A new Harvard/Harris poll just came out which showed that a slim majority, 51 percent, of 18- to 24-year-olds in United States think that the violence in Israel can be justified by the grievance of Palestinians. 

I know that you’ve been unequivocal in saying that the President is going to denounce antisemitism.  And —

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  And he has.

Q    And he has. 

Is there anything in particular that the administration is planning to do to take this argument to those college students or the — those younger generations who seem to be open to the idea that there are two sides to this thing?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  I don’t have anything to lay out on any specific conversations or outreach that the President is going to do to students.

As you know, we have an Office of Public Engagement here.  We have other offices here at the White House that is constantly engaging with — with communities, incu- — including the young community.  I just don’t have anything specifics to your question on the President’s schedule to do that.  

White House

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