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At White House roundtable on antisemitism, Doug Emhoff says there is ‘epidemic of hate’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent

Doug Emhoff, the husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during a reception to celebrate the Jewish new year in the East Room of the White House in Washington, September 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Doug Emhoff, the husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during a reception to celebrate the Jewish new year in the East Room of the White House in Washington, September 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff laments the “epidemic of hate” facing the country in opening remarks at a White House roundtable discussion with Jewish leaders on the recent rise of antisemitism.

The gathering is held against the backdrop of Kanye West’s pro-Nazi tirade on Infowars last week and his dinner with former president Donald Trump and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes last month.

“Let me be clear: words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them,” Emhoff says. “We cannot normalize this. We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent. There is no either or. There are no two sides. Everyone must be against this.”

“For me, this is not the end. This is just the beginning of this conversation. And as long as I have this microphone, I am going to speak out against hate, bigotry and lies,” the Jewish husband of Vice President Kamala Harris says. “On days like today, I think back to Ellis Island. I think about my family members and I think of the promise of America. That a young boy from Brooklyn – whose family fled persecution – could be sitting here today as the first second gentleman of the United States in the White House.”

Also participating in the event will be State Department antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt, White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and senior Biden aide on public engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms along with representatives from roughly a dozen Jewish organizations.

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