As Prepared For Delivery:
Thank you, Shelley. Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today.
As the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor, I am so proud to lead our work to counter Antisemitism, alongside Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall and in cooperation with Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.
As you all know, this works includes implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, which is focused on addressing the scourge of Antisemitism in the U.S.
Let me begin by saying how heartbroken I am by this tragedy.
One month ago, yesterday, we witnessed the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust.
These issues affect us all personally.
I know that many of you have family and friends in Israel. I know that, for many of you, your minds are probably partly here, and partly there—and that you are worried for your loved ones.
Many of you are, understandably, scared about the horrific spate of Antisemitism we have seen recently in the United States, including incidents at many college campuses around the country.
Maybe some of you have experienced Antisemitism first-hand.
Unfortunately, we know that unrest in Israel tend to be associated with a spike in Antisemitism here in the U.S.
As President Biden has made clear: This is simply unacceptable. Period.
When Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or their identity, when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, when Jews are held accountable for the actions of the government of Israel, that is Antisemitism. And that is unacceptable.
Last week, Secretary Cardona and I visited Towson University to hear from Jewish students who attend colleges around Baltimore.
One student said a picture of a Jewish peer was posted on an anonymous online forum, with an image recalling the worst blood libel.
Another student said a professor told them to read an Antisemitic article.
Many said they had heard horrific slurs directed at them on the one hand, or silence from their allies and university and student leaders on the other hand.
Let me be clear: No student should have to endure what these students have endured over the last month.
Antisemitism was a major problem before October 7.
Our urgency and focus on this issue have only deepened over the past month.
Fortunately, we already had a robust process in place to respond to Antisemitism.
We have more than two dozen agencies engaged in countering Antisemitism on a daily basis through the National Strategy.
At the White House, we too are working daily to protect Jewish communities, schools, and institutions.
And we are going beyond the strategy to address areas that of great concern currently, including the rise of Antisemitism at schools and college campuses.
Here, first and foremost, we are working to protect Jewish students’ safety.
DHS and DOJ have taken steps to ensure campus law enforcement is included in engagements with state and local law enforcement.
We have also taken numerous steps to work directly with campuses.
Additionally, we are taking aggressive action to address the alarming rise in reports of Antisemitic discrimination at schools and on college campuses.
That includes new efforts to raise awareness and understanding of legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
As you know, Title VI requires schools that receive federal financial assistance to address Antisemitic discrimination based on shared ancestry and ethnic characteristics.
We are working to ensure that Title VI compliance is in these schools’ bloodstream.
As Secretary Cardona said, “if we have to withhold dollars from a campus refusing to comply, we will.”
For example, yesterday, ED released a new Dear Colleague Letter, reminding schools of their legal obligations under Title VI.
With that, I am happy to turn it over to Shelley for some questions.