A swastika was found etched into an elevator at the State Department, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the hateful carving on Tuesday, describing it as a reminder that anti-Semitism is still alive.
“As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past,” Blinken wrote in a memo to all State Department employees that was reviewed by CNN.
Furthermore, Blinken added that “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.”
Blinken also affirmed that they must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it.
He noted that the swastika — which was the centerpiece of the Nazi flag and is synonymous with anti-Semitism — has been removed from the elevator and the incident will be investigated by Diplomatic Security, the federal law enforcement branch of the State Department.
In the same page, the Secretary of state, who was raised in the Jewish tradition, stressed: “We also know from our own history and from the histories of other nations that anti-Semitism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other hatreds. None of these ideologies should have a home in our workplace or our nation.”
On his part, President Joe Biden strongly condemned the incident in a tweet.
“Let me be clear: Anti-Semitism has no place in the State Department, in my Administration, or anywhere in the world,” Biden wrote. “It’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor and stand up to bigotry wherever we find it.”