Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden denounced what he called a “ferocious surge” of antisemitism in America and the atrocities committed by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel in a speech at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

His keynote remarks were part of a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum ceremony marking the Days of Remembrance to honor the memory of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust as well as other victims of Nazi persecution.

“Never again simply translated for me means never forget,” Biden said before a crowd of Holocaust survivors, Jewish Americans and lawmakers gathered in Emancipation Hall.

“Here we are not 75 years later but just seven and a half months later, and people are already forgetting,” Biden said. “They’re already forgetting that Hamas unleashed this terror. It was Hamas who brutalized Israelis. It was Hamas who took and continues to hold hostages. I have not forgotten, nor have you. And we will not forget.”

The high-profile remarks came at a fraught political moment, as a possible Israeli invasion of Rafah looms and college protests against the war in Gaza are unfolding across the U.S.

Biden has faced criticism from Republicans and Democrats as he’s tried to balance unwavering support for Israel’s security with sympathy for the Palestinians killed and suffering in Gaza.

But his message Tuesday largely focused on his staunch support for Israel and condemnation of the atrocities against Jews witnessed on Oct. 7 as well as the harassment of the community in the months since — including incidents on college campuses, propaganda on social media and more.

“To the Jewish community I want you to know I see your fear, your hurt, your pain. Let me reassure you as your president, you’re not alone,” Biden said. “My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad even when we disagree.”

At least 1,700 Israelis have been killed and 8,700 others injured by Hamas or other Palestinian militants, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since Oct. 7, Israeli military operations have killed more than 34,000 people in Gaza and injured more than 78,000 others, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Biden did not directly comment on Gaza or the humanitarian crisis unfolding for Palestinians in his speech. On campus protests, Biden again emphasized the right to free speech but spoke out against instances were Jewish students have been “blocked, harassed or attacked while walking to class.”

“I understand people have strong belief and deep convictions about the world,” he said. “In America, we respect and protect the fundamental right to free speech, to debate and disagree, to protest peacefully and make our voices heard.”

“But there is no place on any campus in America [or] any place in America for antisemitism or hate speech or threats of violence of any kind whether against Jews or anyone else,” Biden continued.

Tuesday’s remembrance ceremony also featured remarks by House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Biden’s faced heavy criticism from Republicans over the campus unrest, with many conservative lawmakers blasting his response as insufficient. Overall, GOP lawmakers have seized on the protests to further their narrative of “chaos” under the Biden administration and to show their strong support for Israel.

Johnson used his remarks to continue criticism of the campus unrest, going so far as to compare them to antisemitic activity at German institutions of higher learning during World War II.

“We remember what happened then and now today we are witnessing American universities quickly becoming hostile places for Jewish students and faculty,” he said. “The very campuses which were once the envy of the international academy have succumbed to an antisemitic virus.”

“Now is a time for moral clarity and we must put an end to this madness,” Johnson said.

Jeffries said antisemitism and other forms of hate speech was not a “Democratic issue or Republican issue” but “an American issue.”

“We must crush antisemitism along with racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and all other forms of hatred together,” Jeffries said.

The White House on Tuesday also announced new actions intended to combat the rise in antisemitism, including on college campuses.

They include directing the Department of Education to issue new guidance to school districts and universities providing examples of antisemitism and other forms of hate that trigger Title VI investigations; the creation of a website by the Department of Homeland Security and partners that includes campus safety resources; and working with technology firms to address antisemitic content online.

“We’ve seen a ferocious surge of antisemitism in America and around the world,” Biden said in his speech, adding it is “absolutely despicable and it must stop.”

ABC News Molly Nagle contributed to this report.

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