Barack Obama has addressed a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the US, pointing to his successor Donald Trump as being partly to blame.
In an interview with Jewish Insider published on Monday, Obama recalled a speech he gave at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC at the end of his presidency, and then moved into seemingly targeting his successor.
“When I gave that speech, it was clear that anti-Semitism was on the rise around the world. People’s anger over everything from immigration to inequality was boiling over – and many of them were looking for someone else to blame. And for four years, we had a president in the White House who fanned those flames,” Obama said.
The former president did not elaborate on specifically how Trump had “fanned the flames,” of anti-Semitism, but he did go on to reference the Capitol riot of January 6.
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He went on to say the “hate” he has seen displayed in acts of anti-Semitism, as well as the Capitol riot, has been answered with “far larger expressions of solidarity.”
The former president’s comments follow weeks of Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there was a 75% increase in anti-Semitic acts during these recent conflicts.
The group has also said that 2020 marked the third highest year for assaults, harassment, and vandalism against Jewish Americans.
Former President Donald Trump has been highly critical of Joe Biden’s approach to foreign policy, including his recent handling of violent conflicts in the Gaza Strip, accusing him of “criticizing” Israel.
“He actually criticized Israel while the Jewish homeland was under attack by thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles launched,” Trump said on Saturday night during a speech in North Carolina.
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