US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will host Jewish leaders this week to discuss a rise in antisemitism and efforts to fight hate in the United States, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
The White House roundtable is scheduled to take place on Wednesday and follows a surge in anti-Jewish vitriol.
Emhoff is the first Jewish person among the top four officials — the president, vice president and their spouses — in the executive branch of government, and he has become increasingly outspoken about growing bias toward adherents of the Jewish faith, and hate at large, in the US.
The roundtable follows the latest antisemitic comments by rapper Kanye West, who gave an interview to Alex Jones of Infowars last week in which he said he “loves everyone,” including Jews, as well as Nazis, spoke favorably of Hitler and denied the Holocaust.
West later posted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David on his Twitter account, prompting Twitter owner Elon Musk to suspend his account a second time.
His Twitter account was suspended by Twitter’s previous leadership after he threatened to go "death con 3 on the Jews" in an antisemitic rant on the social media site. West followed this up by claiming that he can't be antisemitic "because black people are actually Jew."
“It’s painful, it hurts,” Emhoff said Friday after he was asked about rising antisemitism during an appearance at the NewDEAL Leaders conference of state and local officials in Washington.
He added he did not want this type of sentiment to “feel normal.”
“I don’t want people to think, ‘Well, it’s just words,’” said Emhoff, according to AP. “We have to all step up and speak out about this as leaders in your communities. So as long as I have this microphone, I’m going to keep speaking up, speaking out, and again, not just about antisemitism but about hatred and bringing everyone else together.”
“This is not OK. It’s not OK,” Emhoff continued. “We cannot be silent. We gotta push back. We gotta speak up. And we cannot make this normal. We cannot.”
Emhoff’s wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, denounced antisemitism last Friday.
“Praising Hitler and denying the Holocaust is vile, appalling, and must be condemned. Our Administration will continue to stand up against antisemitism and the epidemic of hate,” wrote Harris on Twitter.
Her tweet came after President Joe Biden condemned antisemitism and also took a shot at former President Donald Trump, who recently hosted West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes at his estate in Florida.
“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity,” Biden tweeted.