WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden cited the precedent his vice president’s husband set as a high and the spike in antisemitism as a low in his proclamation marking Jewish American Heritage Month.
Biden said this year Americans “recognize two historic firsts, as America saw the Vice President take the oath of office alongside her Jewish spouse, and a Jewish American became the first Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the highest-ranking Jewish American elected official in our Nation’s history.”
Kamala Harris’s husband is Douglas Emhoff, who is Jewish. Chuck Schumer, the Jewish Democrat from New York, became Senate majority leader in January when Democrats retook the Senate.
“Alongside this narrative of achievement and opportunity, there is also a history — far older than the Nation itself — of racism, bigotry, and other forms of injustice,” Biden said. “This includes the scourge of antisemitism. In recent years, Jewish Americans have increasingly been the target of white nationalism and the antisemitic violence it fuels.”
Biden’s decision to run for president was fueled in part by his perception that then-President Donald Trump was equivocating in condemning white supremacist violence and antisemitism. He said last week in his address to a joint session of Congress that white supremacists posed the greatest terrorist threat to Americans.
May is Jewish American Heritage Month. Biden issued his proclamation on Friday afternoon, May 1.