White House vows to condemn anti-Semitism fomentation after Irving’s suspension


The White House will condemn anyone who stirs up anti-Semitism, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday when asked about Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s handling of the backlash over a controversial tweet.

“Anyone, anyone, who stirs up hate, stirs up anti-Semitism, we will condemn. We will condemn this type of profanity, this type of language, because it is incredibly dangerous,” said Jean-Pierre. The press secretary did not comment directly on Irving.

She added that she did not speak to President Biden specifically about the NBA player.

The Brooklyn Nets suspended him for at least five games Thursday because they were disappointed the basketball player didn’t say he had anti-Semitic beliefs.

Irving initially denied being anti-Semitic and doubled down on his support for a film he tweeted that is said to be anti-Semitic. But on Thursday he said he took “full responsibility” for the “negative impact” of the tweet.

“We will continue to condemn anti-Semitism, we will continue to condemn hatred, hate speech and racism,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One on Friday.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s someone with a big platform,” she added.

Jean-Pierre also noted that the New Jersey FBI had identified the source of a threat against synagogues after the FBI warned of a broad threat this week.

“We know this time is painful for Jewish communities across America as we witness an ugly rise in anti-Semitism,” Jean-Pierre said. “The President is deeply concerned about hateful violence and … he has taken significant steps to address anti-Semitic violence in America.”

When asked if the country was going backwards on the rise in anti-Semitism, she said Biden was an optimist.

She also pointed to the work of the Biden administration to ensure funding for the security of synagogues and other institutions, as well as measures to combat hateful violence.


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