Swastika carved near office of antisemitism envoy at US State Department

A swastika was found on Monday carved into an elevator at the United States State Department, near the office of the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.

In a letter to State Department employees on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken updated staffers that the swastika had been removed from the elevator in the Harry S. Truman building and that the incident will be investigated.

“As this painfully reminds us, antisemitism isn’t a relic of the past,” Blinken wrote. “It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it.”

The secretary added that antisemitism “often goes hand in hand” with other types of bigotry.

Addressing the State Department’s Jewish employees, Blinken said, “please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues,” adding that the feeling is extended to his entire staff.

According to Axios, which first broke the story, the elevator where the swastika was found is within a heavily monitored perimeter with security cameras placed at the entrances.

The office of the antisemitism envoy is not currently filled, with the duties being handled in the interim by deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor Kara McDonald.

Monday’s incident took place against the backdrop of growing calls by Jewish groups to fill the position due to a recent uptick in antisemitic events. Biden administration officials have heeded the calls, saying the White House will make an appointment shortly, though that has been the line used for nearly two months now.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan said the vandalism “once again shows that antisemitism does not distinguish between Jews in Israel and Jews in America, and harms not only Israel but the entire world.”

“We must fight together resolutely against antisemitism of any kind and bring to justice anyone who acts out of hatred for the Jewish people,” he said in a statement.

Source Link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/swastika-carved-near-office-of-antisemitism-envoy-at-us-state-department/

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