Biden condemns current antisemitism amid college protests, Rafah assault

President Joe Biden gave a forceful condemnation of current antisemitism during a ceremony to remember victims of the Holocaust.

The ceremony took place Tuesday at the Capitol and was hosted by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Biden addressed how antisemitism is on the rise globally and at home since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel

"This hatred continues to lie deep in the hearts of too many people in the world," Biden said of antisemitism.

"There’s no place on any campus in America" or any place in America for antisemitism or threats of violence, he added, saying, "We’re not a lawless country — we are a civil society."

College campus protests

Biden’s remarks at the Capitol played out as pro-Palestinian protests rock college campuses across the country. 

Many protesters want their schools to divest from companies that do business with Israel or otherwise contribute to the war effort. Others simply want to call attention to the deaths in Gaza and for the war to end.

The war in Gaza has driven around 80% of the territory's population of 2.3 million from their homes and caused vast destruction to apartments, hospitals, mosques and schools across several cities. The death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 34,500 people, according to local health officials.

The campus protests have posed a political challenge for Biden, whose coalition has historically relied on younger voters, many of whom are critical of his public support for Israel.

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Israel Rafah crossing

Biden has struggled to balance his support for Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack with his efforts to constrain its war on the militant group in Gaza.

Hamas on Monday announced its acceptance of an Egyptian-Qatari cease-fire proposal, but Israel said the deal did not meet its "core demands" and that it was pushing ahead with an assault on the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the Gaza Strip, which is the main route for aid entering the besieged enclave and exit for those able to flee into Egypt.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.