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Swastika discovered carved into elevator at State Department

“As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past,” Blinken wrote in a memo to all State Department workers that was reviewed by CNN. “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.”

Blinken stated that the swastika — which was the centerpiece of the Nazi flag and is synonymous with anti-Semitism — has been faraway from the elevator and the incident can be investigated by Diplomatic Security, the federal legislation enforcement department of the State Department.

Blinken spoke to the truth that anti-Semitism is usually related with different types of hatred and stated none of them ought to be a part of the US tradition or the tradition throughout the State Department.

Late Tuesday, President Joe Biden strongly condemned the incident in a tweet, writing: “Let me be clear: Anti-Semitism has no place in the State Department, in my Administration, or anywhere in the world. It’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor and stand up to bigotry wherever we find it.”


“We also know from our own history and from the histories of other nations that anti-Semitism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other hatreds. None of these ideologies should have a home in our workplace or our nation,” Blinken stated.

Blinken, who was raised within the Jewish custom and has spoken movingly about his stepfather’s rescue by American troopers after surviving the Holocaust, addressed the division’s Jewish workers immediately in his message.

“To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues,” Blinken wrote. “And that goes for our entire diverse and dedicated team in Washington and around the world. I know I can speak for the Deputy Secretaries and senior leaders across the Department when I say that it’s an honor to serve alongside you on behalf of the American people.”

The defacement on the State Department comes as anti-Semitic assaults within the US have been steadily rising lately and have included lethal assaults on synagogues.

According to the Anti-Defamation League — the nation’s main group for monitoring, monitoring and responding to anti-Semitism within the United States — assault, harassment and vandalism in opposition to Jews stay at near-historic ranges.

The group’s most up-to-date Audit of Antisemitic Incidents within the US recorded 2,024 incidents in 2020, the third highest because the group started documenting them in 1979, even with Covid-19-related lockdowns throughout the nation.

It was “very disturbing to hear of a swastika carved into an elevator wall at the U.S. Dept of State,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. Greenblatt stated his group appreciated the “strong condemnation” from Blinken, and he added that he hopes “an investigation brings swift justice to those responsible.”

This story has been up to date with feedback from President Joe Biden.

CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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