Jewish Voice for Peace Responds to President Biden: You dishonor the memory of our families killed in the Holocaust



May 7, 2024

Media Contact: Sonya E Meyerson-Knox | 929-290-0317 | 

(May 7, 2024) — On the occasion of President Biden’s speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jewish Voice for Peace reminds the President that the enduring lesson from the Nazi Holocaust — Never Again — means Never Again for Anyone. As the Israeli government is pledging to launch a large-scale ground invasion of Rafah, where 1.3 million trapped Palestinian refugees are sheltering, the President’s insistence on inaccurately linking the Israeli government to Jewish safety signals, yet again, the extent of U.S. governmental support for the Israeli military’s genocide against Palestinians.

“It is a horrific lie that Jewish safety is protected by the Israeli government’s slaughter of Palestinian families or that riot police arresting peaceful protestors is for the sake of Jewish students,” said Stefanie Fox, Executive Director at Jewish Voice for Peace. “Biden’s speech used accusations of antisemitism to distract the American public from our complicity in the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. It was a grotesque betrayal of the memories of our families murdered in the Holocaust.”

President Biden linked the history of the Nazi Holocaust to the student activists calling for an end to their universities’ complicity in militarism, occupation and war. Jewish students are a strong presence in the campus protests, marking Jewish holidays like Shabbat and Passover at the encampments, where they feel safety and belonging. These students feel that their Jewish tradition compels them to join this interfaith, multiracial, movement for Palestinian freedom. 

President Biden also failed to address the primary source of antisemitism in the U.S.: White supremacy and the rise of the far-Right. 

“As a Jewish student at UCLA, I reject President Biden’s vicious and false portrayal of student activists. President Biden’s fear mongering puts student activists, including Jewish student activists like myself, at tremendous risk. By misstating the source of antisemitism, President Biden is effectively sowing confusion and making it harder to identify and dismantle antisemitism when it occurs,” said Benjamin Kersten, member of JVP-UCLA, who has participated in the student protests for Palestinian freedom. 

“For so many of us, the only way to honor the memory of our ancestors murdered in the holocaust is to do everything we can to stop the horrors unfolding in Gaza. We know in our bones what it means to hear Israeli officials dehumanize an entire people, to witness the Israeli military mass murder tens of thousands of Palestinians, to watch Israel systematically destroy civilian infrastructure, cultural institutions, universities, and hospitals. To see Israel purposefully deny food, medicine, and shelter to refugees,” said Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago synagogue.

“Biden speaks about antisemitism as a never-ending virus, insists on antisemitism rising in isolation from other forms of racism and violence, and uses uncontestedly biased data from a group that counts criticism of Israel as antisemitism. Exceptionalizing antisemitism completely isolates Jews and Jewish history, and makes it impossible to fight against all forms of racism, imperialism, and injustice together,” said Nina Mehta, a JVP member who is also a researcher and educator on antisemitism with the organization she co-directs, PARCEO

“How dare Biden invoke the Holocaust, a genocide against Jews like my family, to justify the current genocide of Palestinians. What is so hard to understand about Never Again for Anyone? It is the great moral imperative of our lives that we force the US to stop funding and arming Israel’s slaughter of over 34,000 Palestinians, at least 13,000 of them children. Now.” said Elena Stein, Director of Organizing Strategy for Jewish Voice for Peace, and descendant of a Holocaust refugee who lost almost all of her family in the Holocaust.


Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world. JVP organizes a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of U.S. Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle, guided by a vision of justice, equality and dignity for all people. 


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