White House vows fight against ‘scourge’ of anti-Semitism

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration is pledged to stem the “rising tide” of anti-Semitism, the White House chief of staff said.

“We will not waver in our commitment to defeat the scourge of anti-Semitism,” Denis McDonough said at an event Tuesday evening convened by the American Jewish Committee and Washington-area Jewish groups to show solidarity with France and its Jews after deadly attacks last week by Islamists.


“This is not an issue for any single community or nation to deal with by itself,” McDonough said at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington. “From the president on down, you have my commitment that we will wage this fight together.”

The White House has come under fire for not sending a senior official to the solidarity march in Paris over the weekend.

In separate attacks last week, three jihadists killed 17 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and at a kosher supermarket in Paris, as well as a police officer.

Also speaking at the Washington event, which drew 700 people, was the French ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud.

“We are at war against terrorism, against radical Islam,” he said. “Journalists and Jews are on the front line of democracy.”

He also said that France was committed to protecting its Jewish population.

“We want the Jews of France to remain in France,” he said.

Some Israeli leaders in the wake of the attacks have urged French Jews to leave.