Biden Buries Six-Month-Late Scolding of Campus Anti-Semites in Passover Statement

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

It's actually worse than the headline suggests.

For the last six months, anti-Semites have raged on American college campuses, using threats, intimidation, and violence to target Jewish students. For the past six months, Joe Biden has remained silent about this campaign of hatred, and his administration has not lifted a finger to put an end to it -- even while Congress has held hearings on it all along. In the absence of any pressure to contain this ugly campaign of Jew-hatred on campus, the organizers and participants have only grown bolder. 


Late yesterday, Biden -- or whoever writes his statements at the White House -- finally issued a public rebuke of "an alarming surge of Antisemitism." Biden managed to bury it in a statement observing Passover, a very strange way to speak to people who *ahem* hate Jews. And to make matters worse, Biden uses the Passover statement to push for a two-state solution before even getting to the moral rot on American campuses:

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. My Administration is working around the clock to free the hostages, and we will not rest until we bring them home. We are also working to establish an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza as a part of a deal that releases the hostages and delivers desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. We will continue to work toward a two-state solution that provides equal security, prosperity, and enduring peace for Israelis and Palestinians. And we are leading international efforts to ensure Israel can defend itself against Iran and its proxies, including by directing the U.S. military to help defend Israel against Iran’s unprecedented attacks last weekend.
The ancient story of persecution against Jews in the Haggadah also reminds us that we must speak out against the alarming surge of Antisemitism – in our schools, communities, and online. Silence is complicity. Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country. My Administration will continue to speak out and aggressively implement the first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, putting the full force of the federal government behind protecting the Jewish community.


These are paragraphs four and five of a six-paragraph statement. Biden literally flogs the ostensible agenda of the campus nutcases and their demand for a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza before getting to their hatred and intimidation campaigns. And notice too that Biden -- or someone -- issued this as a written statement rather than have Biden stand up and deliver this rebuke at a podium. 

Instead, the White House sent out a deputy press secretary to specifically call out the anti-Semites of Columbia University. At least according to Politico, even that was in written form rather than as a live press briefing:

The statement came just hours after the White House put out a statement of its own, in which it condemned calls for violence and “physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community” on Columbia’s campus. Earlier in the day a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety amid heated protests.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly Antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous — they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement, after video emerged on social media over the weekend that appeared to show pro-Palestinian activists telling Jewish students, “The 7th of October is going to be every day for you,” in reference to the deadly Hamas-led attack on Israel last fall.

“Echoing the rhetoric of terrorist organizations, especially in the wake of the worst massacre committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, is despicable. We condemn these statements in the strongest terms,” Bates added.


A Sister Souljah moment, this ain't.

Let's return to one passage in particular in Biden's statement:

My Administration will continue to speak out and aggressively implement the first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, putting the full force of the federal government behind protecting the Jewish community.

The word "continue" is doing a lot of work here. A search of the White House's official website shows that this is the very first mention of anti-Semitism on college campuses in a public statement by Biden since October 7. Other documents on the website from after that date that just mention anti-Semitism include:

  • A boilerplate statement about "antisemitism" in January on International Holocaust Day that says nothing about the campus campaigns that had gone on for months
  • A readout from an October 12 meeting with Jewish leaders on support for Israel and "countering Antisemitism [sic]" that makes no mentions of college campuses
  • A Biden statement in October on hate-crime stats relating to "Antisemitism [sic] and Islamophobia" that again makes no mention of the explosion of hate crimes against Jews, but instead focuses on LGBTQI+ and Muslim victims. 
  • Two statements from Neera Tanden in November -- one during a meeting with Jewish leaders and another at Towson University, both of which did mention the campus intimidation campaigns
  • A November "fact sheet" from the White House about how the administration "takes action" to "Address Alarming Rise of Reported Antisemitic and Islamophobic Events at Schools and on College Campuses"
  •  a a White House round-up of praise for Biden's Oval Office Speech on October 19th, and the mention came not from Biden but from a New Jersey state legislator that urged Biden to ensure that "we are doing everything we can to protect Americans against anti-Semitism, against islamophobia."
  • A January proclamation on Religious Freedom Day that mentions anti-Semitism along with "Islamophobia" but contains no mention of any specifics of either. 
  • A readout of a White House roundtable on "countering Hate-fueled violence" that again made no mention of the hate-fueled violence and intimidation on American campuses for months that targets Jews

So, let's recap. Biden has ignored this wave of progressive Jew-hatred for six months, until the ugliness at Columbia got so bad that he was forced to finally say something. Rather than address the issue directly, Biden buried the scolding of his radical-Left activists in a mainly-boilerplate Passover observation statement, and put it below his support for their ostensible main policy demand of a cease-fire in Gaza. 

Joe Biden is a craven moral idiot.

At this point, the federal government should suspend all federal monies going to Columbia. The university -- and others -- are in clear violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the requirement that schools allow for an equal educational experience for students of all religions. The sustained riots and intimidation campaigns have abrogated their eligibility for student loans, grants, and research funding, and it should all stop immediately. (Neera Tanden actually raised this possibility in the November meeting.) If Biden actually took steps to enforce Title VI, that might prompt the schools and the states in which they operate to intervene and to expel the anti-Semites organizing these campaigns. 

But that doesn't let the schools off the hook either for their own moral idiocy and cowardice. Marc Caputo asked a very good question yesterday about Columbia in particular, which houses the nation's most well-known journalism school, and which administers the industry's top annual award for supposed excellence in the field:


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