President Biden to Address Rising Antisemitism at Holocaust Museum Event

President Biden will address the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance event on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, where he is expected to draw on the lessons of the Holocaust and address the rise in antisemitic incidents.

“You can expect the President to make clear that during these sacred days of remembrance, we honor the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust and recommit to heeding the lessons of this dark chapter. Never again,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said during on Monday.

The event will also feature remarks from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The address comes as American college campuses are debating over Israel’s war on Gaza, which has left at least 35,000 Palestinians dead. The speech comes at a time when Biden has faced criticism for his administration’s support for Israel as the death toll mounts.

On Apr. 17, Columbia University students set up about 50 tents referred to as the Gaza solidarity encampment demanding a ceasefire and divestment from companies with ties to Israel or weapons manufacturers. After negotiations with the university failed, NYPD in riot gear cleared the encampment on Apr. 30 and arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian students.

Protests have since spread across the country, and led to the cancellation of multiple graduation ceremonies.

In some cases, the protests have been marred by antisemitic incidents, and Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe. “It is completely OK to protest the war in Gaza or be horrified by various actions of the Israeli government,” Jacob Schmeltz, a student at Columbia University, said. But “Jewish students at Columbia right now do not feel physically or emotionally safe to be on campus.”

Student protests have spread to Europe. On Tuesday, police dispersed around 125 pro-Palestinian activists at the University of Amsterdam. Police also intervened at Berlin’s Free University on the same day.

Protests or encampments have also occurred in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, and South America.