Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

Remarks: Joe Biden Attends a Jewish-American Heritage Month Celebration - May 20, 2024

  • Joe Biden
    Person
Very Positive

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:00-00:00:41 (42 sec)
Well, thank you, Kamala and Doug. It's an almost -- it's an honor to be introduced by the first ever Jewish spouse of an American president -- vice president, and to also have with us the attorney general, members of Congress, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who will be here soon, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is responsible for this occurring, having sponsored this early on back when she was 12 years old as a -- [Laughter] and to all of you here, welcome to the White House to celebrate extraordinary contributions of Jewish Americans to the nation. 1

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:00:41-00:01:12 (31 sec)
Look, the story of the Jewish people is a story of resilience, absolute resilience from pain and persecution, to hope and delight even in the darkest times. It's the story that endures. Throughout our history, Jewish people helped define and expand the singular idea that binds us together as Americans. It's not hyperbole, freedom, freedom, the bedrock principle on which this nation was built and that American Jews fought for since the 1600s after fleeing persecution abroad. 2

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:01:12-00:01:46 (34 sec)
One of our nation's first commitments to freedom of religion was to the Jewish community in Newport, Rhode Island. It goes back a long way. 1790, America was just 14 years old, a local Jewish leader wrote a letter to President George Washington expressing his hope that America would be a nation of religious freedom, not just for Jews but for all citizens, a nation which, quote, "gives bigotry no sanction and persecution no assistance." That helped lay the groundwork for religious freedom in the First Amendment in our -- amendment in our Constitution. 3

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:01:46-00:02:07 (22 sec)
And ever since, Jews have been in the forefront of helping realize the promise of America for all Americans. Jewish artists, poets helped define the American vision of liberty for millions of people who come to our shores. And look, Jewish suffragettes and advocates have fought for women's rights, voting rights, every -- every right we have. 4

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:07-00:02:27 (19 sec)
My whole career, every -- every fight to increase civil rights and civil liberties has been led by a Jewish community, where I come from. The Jewish faith leaders and citizens marched, petitioned, boarded a bus, demanded civil rights for all. Jewish scientists and engineers and doctors have led breakthroughs in innovation, technology, and medicine. 5

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:27-00:03:02 (35 sec)
Across government, Jewish Americans have proudly served our nation in uniform, in elected and appointed to office in embassies and civil service and our nation's highest courts. That's why Jill and I, hosted the first ever high holiday reception at the White House. It's important. The first ever permanent White House menorah made from the original wood of the White House building to make clear that the history and vibrancy of the Jewish life is woven into the very fabric of America. 6

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:03:02-00:03:25 (23 sec)
And it's permanent. It's permanent. But, look, I know today's reception falls on hard times. The trauma of October 7th and its aftermath of the deadliest day the Jewish people have undergone since the Holocaust is still fresh and ongoing in many -- with many of you. And we have parents of someone being held hostage right now, and we're -- we're going to get them home. 7

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:03:25-00:03:54 (29 sec)
We're going to get them home, come hell or high water. 1,200 innocent people slaughtered in their kibbutz, massacred at a music festival, brutally raped, mutilated, sexually assaulted, hundreds taken hostage and thousands more wounded, carrying the scars and the memory of what they endured. You all know someone directly or indirectly, family, friends who were stolen from you or are in harm's way now. 8

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:54-00:04:20 (27 sec)
And 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. No, it really is. My administration's working around the clock to free the remaining hostages, just as we have freed hostages already. And here with us today is Hersh Goldberg -- Goldberg-Polin, and still -- he is not here with us, but he's still being held by Hamas. 9

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:20-00:04:42 (22 sec)
And Rachel and John are here with us. Stand up, guys. Their love, strength, and compassion inspire the entire world. And I pledge to both of you, and I mean it, and I know you know, Mom, that I mean it, that I will not rest until we bring your loved one home. We gotta bring them home. And folks, let me clear. 10

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:42-00:05:13 (31 sec)
I'll always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas and all other enemies, just as I did when Iran's unprecedented attack last month. We stand with Israel to take out Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas. We want Hamas defeated. We'll work with Israel to make that happen, and consistent with Jewish values of compassion, kindness and dignity and human life. 11

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:05:13-00:05:37 (24 sec)
My team also is providing critical humanitarian assistance to help innocent Palestinian civilians, who are suffering greatly because of the war, Hamas, Hamas has unleashed. It's heartbreaking. As we do this, we're also committed to bring the region together to work toward a two state solution that provides security, prosperity, and enduring peace for Israel and Palestinians. 12

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:05:37-00:06:07 (30 sec)
And let me be clear. We reject the ICCs application for arrest warrants against the Israeli leader. Whatever these warrants may imply, there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. And it's clear that Israel must do all it can to ensure civilian protection. But let me be clear. Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what's happening is not genocide. 13

Joe Biden

Negative
00:06:07-00:06:28 (21 sec)
We reject that, and we'll always stand with Israel in its -- in the threats against its security. Compounding the pain in the vicious surge of anti-Semitism around the world here in America as well, in our streets and our social media and college campuses. It's amazing it's happening. It's absolutely despicable. 14

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:06:28-00:06:51 (23 sec)
It's wrong and it must stop. It must stop. In America, we respect and protect fundamental rights of free speech to protest peacefully. That's America. But there's no place in any campus in America, any place in America for anti-Semitism, for hate speech that threatens violence of any kind against Jews or anyone else. 15

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:06:51-00:07:24 (33 sec)
Nobody should fear going to synagogue or school or walking down the street wearing a symbol of your faith. That's wrong, simply wrong. And that's why, long before October 7th, I launched the nation's first national strategy to counter anti-Semitism that's mobilizing the full force of the federal government to crack down on anti-Semitism wherever you find it. We recently cured an -- secured an additional $400 million, the largest increase ever, in physical security for nonprofits, including synagogues, Jewish community centers, Jewish schools, Jewish nonprofits. 16

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:07:24-00:07:51 (27 sec)
My Department of Education has put colleges on notice that anti -- anti-Semitism is discrimination prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, period, and the department has to investigate discriminatory -- and aggressively -- discrimination aggressively. That's my special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Deborah -- Deborah, you all -- where is -- is Deborah here? 17

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:07:51-00:08:17 (26 sec)
Deborah, thank you, Lipstadt for furthering our efforts to -- all around the world. It matters. This matters. For the Jewish community, I want you to know I see your fear, your hurt, and your pain. And let me assure you as your president, you are not alone. You belong. You always will belong. Let me close with this. 18

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:17-00:08:39 (22 sec)
In moments like this, we do well to remember that this ancient story of Jewish resilience endures because of its people. That's what today is all about, feeling the joy and pride of community, honoring the beauty of your unshakable faith, and celebrating the heritage and legacy of Jewish Americans, who continue to every single part of our life. 19

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:39-00:09:04 (24 sec)
So, thank you for what you've done for America and for the whole world to make it a better place. May the Jewish people shine their light and shine the light of -- on the world for generations to come because we need you badly. Would God bless you all and God protect our troops. Thank you for being here. 20