Washington: SecretaryofState AntonyBlinkenon Monday separately metUSleadersfrom theJewishas well asArabandPalestinian-Americancommunitiesamidwarin the Middle East between Israel andPalestinianIslamistgroupHamas, the State Department said.
Blinken’s community outreach comesamidfears and warningsofa rise in Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti-Palestinianthreats and hate speech in the United States due to thewarin the Middle East.
President Joe Biden called onAmericansto denounce such sentiments in an Oval Office address Thursday night.
Blinkenon Monday “strongly condemned racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and anti-Palestinianincidents,” and “underscored that hate has no place in America or anywhere else,” the State Department said.
In themeetings,Blinkencondemned Hamas’ Oct 7 attack on Israel that left 1,400 people dead and reaffirmed the United States’ “ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security, the State Department said.
The State Department added thatBlinkenmade clear in themeetingsthat Washington supported “thePalestinianpeople and a two-state solution and reiterated that Hamas does not representPalestinians.”
Israel has bombarded Hamas-governed Gaza with heavy airstrikes that have killed over 5,000Palestinians, local Gaza officials say. Gaza, a 45 km-long (25-mile) stripofland that is home to 2.3 million people, has been ruled politically since 2007 by Hamas, an Iran-backed Islamistgroup, but faces a blockade from Israel.
TheUS Justice Department has been monitoring an increase in reported threats againstJewish, Muslim andArabcommunities.
The FBI said earlier this month it was investigating the stabbing deathofWadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Muslim boy, in Illinois as a hate crime. Authorities said the boy and his mother were targeted because they werePalestinianAmericans.
Last week, authorities charged a North Carolina man for allegedly sending a threatening message to aJewishorganisation.
(Published 24 October 2023, 03:58 IST)