Swastika found near State Dept. office on antisemitism

Sec. of State: "​Antisemitism isn't a relic of the past. It's still a force in the world, including close to home. And it's abhorrent."

A swastika was found Monday carved into the wall of an elevator at the U.S. State Department near the office of the special envoy that monitors and combats antisemitism.

According to Axios, who was first to report the hate symbol being found, the swastika was etched into the wall of a secure elevator, one that only employees or contractors that pass a vetting process are allowed to use.

President Joe Biden in a tweet late Tuesday condemned the act.

Israel’s ambassador to the United States and United Nations also condemned the incident on Twitter, writing: “The swastika painted in the US State Department once again shows how anti-Semitism does not distinguish between a Jew and a non-Jew, and harms not only Israel but the entire world. We must fight together resolutely against anti-Semitism of any kind and exhaust the law with every person who acts out of hatred for the Jewish people.”

Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who is out of the country traveling, sent an email Tuesday to State Department staffers condemning the act:

“The hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated. As this painfully reminds us, anti-semitism isn’t a relic of the past. It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it. To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues.”

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters: “Antisemitism has no place in the United States and certainly has no place in the State Department.”

“This hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated. As the secretary has shared with a message to all of our employees, this is completely abhorrent. It’s a painful reminder that anti-Semitism 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,” she added.

This is just the latest in a string of high profile antisemitic incidents happening in the United States and around the world. In the wake of May’s conflict between Israel and Hamas U.S. Jewish leaders met with government officials asking for a response to the rise in antisemitic incidents. They also asked officials to fill two vacant positions in the office of the envoy monitoring and combating antisemitism.