Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden will deliver a major speech denouncing antisemitism on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol.

The remarks are 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.

“He will speak to the horrors of Oct. 7 when Hamas unleashed the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. “And he will speak to how since Oct. 7, we’ve seen an alarming rise in antisemitism in the U.S. in our cities or communities and our campuses.”

Jean-Pierre also said Biden will highlight his administration’s national strategy to counter antisemitism and protect Jewish Americans.

Biden’s high-profile address comes 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.

The president’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.

The White House has pushed back on GOP assertions Biden hasn’t condemned antisemitism forcefully enough, arguing he’s done more on the issue than any other president.

Last week, Biden spoke out in an address from the White House against violent and antisemitic incidents at some colleges and universities, saying hate speech of any kind is “wrong” and “un-American.” He also used the remarks to emphasis the right to free speech and peaceful protest.

Meanwhile, he faces a divided Democratic caucus when it comes to the Israel-Hamas war. Biden’s tried to balance unwavering support for Israel’s security with sympathy for Palestinians killed and suffering in Gaza, though he’s faced protesters at various events who’ve called him “Genocide Joe.”

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. 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.

“We understand how painful this is for many, many communities,” Jean-Pierre said during Monday’s press briefing.

“The president understands how important this moment is,” she continued when asked about how he is preparing for Tuesday’s speech. “And I would say this is a president that tends to meet the moment when it comes to speeches and remarks like these. He understands what’s going on, has his fingers on the pulse in terms of what people are feeling.”

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