State Department antisemitism envoy: ‘Allow no one to make you afraid’
Condemning post-Oct. 7 antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt offers continued support from Biden administration
At a moment when American Jews feel besieged amid a wave of antisemitism, the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism offered a message of comfort and courage to the energized crowd gathered on the National Mall at Tuesday’s March for Israel.
Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt quoted from President George Washington’s famous 18th-century letter to the Jews of Newport, R.I., with a modern twist: “His meaning and his message were quite specific. In the United States of America, the bigotry of antisemitism must have no place,” said Lipstadt.
“We echo our Founding Father unequivocally and unreservedly,” continued Lipstadt, referring to herself as a “representative” of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. “This government stands shoulder to shoulder against Jew-hatred. We stand arm in arm to combat antisemitism, wherever it hides or attempts to reside.”
Lipstadt delivered a strong condemnation of the antisemitism that has emerged since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.
“We must not be blind to the hate implicit in the widespread celebrations of Hamas’ October 7 killing spree. When protesters chant, ‘Peace and glory to the martyrs,’ that incites more hatred, more deaths,” Lipstadt explained. “It is a danger to the values and underpinning of the stability and decency of any society anywhere in the world.”
She cautioned American Jews not to resort to the antics of the antisemites — and, instead, to remain strong and unafraid.
“Do not sink to the level of those who harass you. Do not tear down posters. Do not intimidate those who disagree with you. Do not block the path or taunt them as they do for you,” said Lipstadt. “But do not cower. Allow no one to make you afraid.”
This fight against antisemitism, Lipstadt continued, “will be a long one. But Jews have faced such challenges before and have overcome them.” And now, she added, “this nation’s leaders are determined to oppose antisemitism at every turn. They are by your side now and long into the future.”
She closed her address with words from the Bible: “Chazak v’amatz.” Be strong and have courage.