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White House to address rising anti-Semitism, attacks on Jews

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will address rising anti-Semitism in a roundtable event with Jewish leaders on Wednesday focused on attacks against Jews across the United States and how to combat hate.

The White House did not say which leaders from the Jewish community would attend the event, hosted by second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a president or a vice president.

The move comes as reports of anti-Semitism have increased nationwide. The issue has drawn headlines in recent weeks after former Republican President Donald Trump hosted white supremacist Nick Fuentes and the musician formerly known as Kanye West at his private club in Florida.

West, now called Ye, has drawn widespread criticism for a spate of anti-Semitic comments — including praise for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler — and was suspended from Twitter last week.

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Some Republicans have criticized Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and Ye, but have stopped short of directly criticizing Trump, who has said he did not know Fuentes.

“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting anti-Semitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity,” Biden, a Democrat, said in a Twitter post Friday.

Last year saw the largest number of anti-Semitic incidents, including murder, physical assaults, harassment and vandalism, since the Anti-Defamation League began collecting records 40 years ago, the racism watchdog said in its most recent annual audit.

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“I’m in pain right now. Perpetuating lies, such as the denial of the Holocaust, and praising fascist murderers, is dangerous and fans the flames of anti-Semitism and hate,” Emhoff, who is married to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, said in a Twitter post on Friday. “We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and)

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