Second gentleman Doug Emhoff – the primary Jewish particular person in his place – will convene an antisemitism roundtable Wednesday on the White Home, Emhoff’s workplace tells CNN.
Planning for the occasion was underway for weeks, however White Home aides mentioned that it’s taken on additional significance now following a collection of antisemitic feedback from the rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, in addition to the revelation that former President Donald Trump hosted West together with White nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago property in late November.
“Actually each single day it will get worse,” Emhoff mentioned on Friday, showing at an occasion in Washington final week the place he described himself as “in ache.”
“Jews in our technology didn’t expertise this degree of antisemitism in any respect,” he added. “Like with so many points, we thought that it was behind us.”
Emhoff, joined by home coverage advisor Susan Rice, director of public engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms and administration particular envoy to fight antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, will deliver collectively leaders of 13 completely different Jewish teams from the Anti-Defamation League to Jewish on Campus and several other non secular organizations.
President Joe Biden isn’t anticipated to attend the roundtable, however he’s anticipated to proceed to talk out – together with probably on the Hanukkah reception the White Home is planning for later this month, sources inform CNN. On Friday, he tweeted, “The Holocaust occurred. Hitler was a demonic determine. And as an alternative of giving it a platform, our political leaders needs to be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity.”
Aides have labored to not make denouncing antisemitism seem to be a political ploy, or simply one other probability to swing at Trump.
There aren’t any direct actions anticipated out of the occasion, however individuals say even simply having the dialog is necessary.
“By convening this roundtable, the Biden Administration is displaying its dedication to behave in partnership with the Jewish group to confront antisemitism in all its types,” mentioned Ted Deutch, a former Democratic congressman from Florida who’ll be attending in his new position as CEO of the American Jewish Congress.
Emhoff has talked earlier than about how he wasn’t religiously observant for a lot of his life and was shocked by how a lot consideration has come on him for being Jewish since Biden named his spouse, Kamala Harris, to Biden’s presidential ticket. The vice chairman and her husband tweeted pictures of lighting a menorah final yr at Hanukkah, hosted a Passover Seder on the Naval Observatory and he attended Rosh Hashana providers at a Washington synagogue this previous September, however Emhoff mentioned taking up a task combating the present rise in hate feels much more private.
“I don’t see this simply as a Jewish subject. This is a matter for all of us. As a result of we’ve seen this earlier than. That is the way it began 70 years in the past. So I don’t need it to really feel regular,” Emhoff mentioned. “I don’t need individuals to suppose, ‘Nicely it’s simply phrases, it’s simply Kanye.’ No. This issues.”