President Biden released a statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day Saturday, as the war between Israel and Hamas wages on.
Biden said the United States joins nations around the world to pause and mourn “one of the darkest chapters in human history,” grieve the lives taken by Nazis and honor the survivors and those who risked their lives for the innocent.
“This year, the charge to remember the Holocaust, the evil of the Nazis, and the scourge of antisemitism is more pressing than ever,” Biden said, denouncing the “pure, unadulterated evil” that Hamas unleashed on Israel in its Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,200.
“It was the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust,” he said.
Since Hamas invaded Israel in its surprise attack and took more than 200 hostages, Biden said there has been an “alarming rise of despicable antisemitism” both in the United States and around the world that has “surfaced painful scars” of Jewish people.
“We cannot remember all that Jewish survivors of the Holocaust experienced and then stand silently by when Jews are attacked and targeted again today,” Biden said in the statement. “Without equivocation or exception, we must also forcefully push back against attempts to ignore, deny, distort, and revise history. This includes Holocaust denialism and efforts to minimize the horrors that Hamas perpetrated on October 7, especially its appalling and unforgivable use of rape and sexual violence to terrorize victims.”
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Biden pledged to stand up to antisemitism and to make a promise of “Never Again.” He said his father instilled the promise in him as a child, and it is a lesson he has passed down to his children and grandchildren. It’s also a message he said he has “strived to honor” during his visits to Israel and meetings with Holocaust survivors and family members of people taken hostage by Hamas.
“On this somber International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hold the Jewish community and the people of Israel close in our hearts,” Biden said. “And we remember the enduring strength, spirit, and resilience of the Jewish people — even in the darkest of times.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has made several trips to the Middle East since the start of the war, posted online commemorating the day of remembrance. He said the U.S. “must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to combat all forms of intolerance and build a world where hate has no place.”
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy asked for a commitment “to stand against antisemitism.” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also said it is up to the public “today and every day” to stand up to antisemitism “and root out hatred in all its forms.”