US Government compares college protests to ‘gas chambers’ at Holocaust Remembrance event

President Joe Biden speaks at the Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, on May 7, 2024. Photo: Evan Vucci, AP

Numerous members of the US Government—including President Joe Biden—condemned a “ferocious surge” in antisemitism following Israel’s genocide in Gaza, using a Holocaust Remembrance ceremony to compare US College campuses to “gas chambers” on Tuesday.

  • During a televised event at the nation’s capitol, US President Joe Biden blamed Hamas for a series of alleged mass killings, rapes, and torture of Israeli Jews, despite evidence that has disproven many of these Israeli-backed claims in real-time.
  • Biden said we should not grant “hate” a “safe harbor” in the United States and promised to use the “full force of the federal government” to “counter antisemitism.” He then went on to support the concept of freedom of speech.
  • The event was hosted at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Capitol building on May 7th, 2024.

The President’s speech: President Biden used his time at the podium to reify his commitment to Israel and the “safety” of the Jewish people, just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a bloody attack against the Palestinian city of Rafah.

He also voiced his belief that people are “forgetting the truth” when it comes to widely debunked mainstream Holocaust narratives.

  • “Never forgetting means we must keep telling the story, must keep teaching the truth, we must keep teaching our children and grand children. Because we’re at risk of people not knowing the truth.”
  • “My commitment to the safety of Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad, even when we disagree.”

The Big Picture: In May of 2023, President Biden announced a plan to use virtually every branch of government, big business, and civil society to “ruthlessly suppress” First Amendment-protected criticism of Jewish political power and Zionism in the homeland.

  • The goal of the project is to consolidate power and launch a campaign to silence Americans during a time of increased awareness of international Zionism’s influence in American politics.

The Conversation: At the ceremony, Biden was joined by Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, who evoked the so-called “horrors of the Holocaust” to sound the alarm against antisemitism in the United States, which, according to House-sanctioned laws, amounts to even tepid critiques of the Israeli state.

  • Johnson compared US college campuses to Nazi Germany during Kristallnacht and death camps, stating if you close your eyes, “you can hear screams coming from the gas chambers.”
  • He then received applause for his role in helping pass an unprecedented foreign aid bill that diverted $95 billion to numerous neoliberal projects, including the embattled Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.

Why It’s Important: Bipartisan praise and support for the Jewish people despite its “genocidal” war against ethnic Palestinians in Gaza reveals a growing disregard for the interests of American citizens, who increasingly face repression or jail time for merely expressing concern over Israel.

  • Yesterday, 12 sitting US Senators were revealed to have penned a “mob style” threat to the International Criminal Court, which warned of sanctions if any Israeli official linked to war crimes were to be arrested.
  • Last week, a series of pro-Palestine protests held at elite universities in New York City faced a brutal crackdown by militarized officers of the NYPD. The paramilitary op to silence demonstrators came after Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt demanded the National Guard be sent in during a site visit nearly one week prior.
  • Political speech that opposes Israel’s actions in the Middle East has faced violent pushback across the United States, especially in places like Texas, Florida, Virginia, California, and Portland, Oregon.
  • So far, over 2,000 American citizens have been arrested during peaceful anti-war protests, with many making comparisons to the lack of police presence during the 2020 Summer of Racial Reckoning.

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