Blinken Voices Outrage After Swastika Etched at State Department
i24 News – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday voiced outrage and promised renewed efforts to combat antisemitism after a swastika was found etched in an elevator at the State Department.
Officials said they had launched an investigation into how the symbol of Nazi Germany was scraped into the wood paneling of an elevator in the Harry S. Truman Building, the secure headquarters of American diplomacy in central Washington.
Blinken, who is on a visit to India, sent a message to State Department employees to call the graffiti discovered late Monday “completely abhorrent.”
“It’s a painful reminder that antisemitism isn’t a relic of the past; it’s still a force that we’re dealing with in the world and unfortunately we’re dealing with it close to home,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said as she quoted Blinken’s message.
“It has to be said that antisemitism has no place in the United States and certainly has no place in the State Department.”
Blinken, a secular Jew whose stepfather survived Nazi death camps, last month on a visit to Berlin launched an effort with Germany to combat resurgent antisemitism, including by stepping up education on the Holocaust as survivors pass away.
Blinken warned at the time that Holocaust denial and other antisemitism “often go hand-in-hand with homophobia, xenophobia, racism, other hatred” and is a “rallying cry for those who seek to tear down our democracies.”