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Emhoff implores international help to combat 'epidemic of hate' in opposition to antisemitism

Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, visited the United Nations on Thursday to speak at an event on Globalizing Efforts to Combat Antisemitism.

WASHINGTON — Second gentleman Doug Emhoff implored other nations to "build coalitions across all groups to combat hate" in prepared remarks for an appearance at the United Nations on Thursday as part of his continued tour to oppose antisemitism.

Emhoff, who is Jewish, spoke at an event on globalizing efforts to combat antisemitism. "We must all speak out against antisemitism and call out those who don't. Silence is not an option," he said.

His prepared remarks, released by the White House on Thursday, added that nations "must build coalitions to tackle this epidemic of hate. We must bring together people from all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities. Because hate is interconnected. It affects everyone."

The event brought together government and community leaders as well as U.N. representatives, according to a White House official. The program was meant to draw attention to global rising antisemitism and to discuss "effective solutions for confronting the various manifestations of contemporary antisemitism."

Emhoff has been taking the lead in efforts by the White House to combat antisemitism, which has been at record highs in recent years, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In December, Emhoff hosted a roundtable at the White House to discuss combatting antisemitism.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff speaks during an announcement on roadway safety at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27, 2022.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff speaks during an announcement on roadway safety at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27, 2022.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

He continued that message Thursday.

“There must be consequences for those who engage in antisemitism. There must be accountability,” his prepared remarks said. “Make no mistake: The United States will lead the way on this issue.”

Emhoff has also taken his message abroad. He recently visited Krakow, Poland, and Berlin, Germany to discuss the push against antisemitism.

President Joe Biden has already set aside $250 million to protect places of worship like synagogues, which have been targeted in antisemitic attacks. Biden has proposed raising that to $360 million for the 2023 fiscal year.

“This moment requires bold collective action and urgency, not just concepts,” Emhoff's prepared remarks said.