Former President Barack Obama is pointing to his successor as the reason for the rise in anti-Semitism in the United States.
In an exclusive interview with Jewish Insider, Obama blamed said former President Donald Trump “fanned those flames” during his tenure in office. The “seeds that gave rise to the Holocaust have always been with us,” Obama told the Jewish publication.
“They have reemerged again and again, especially in times of change and uncertainty,” Obama said, recalling a speech he gave at the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. during the last year of his presidency.
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“When I gave that speech, it was clear that anti-Semitism was on the rise around the world. People’s anger over everything from immigration to inequality was boiling over — and many of them were looking for someone else to blame. And for four years, we had a President in the White House who fanned those flames,” Obama said.
The former Democratic president noted the “larger expressions of solidarity” that have arisen in response to the rise in anti-Semitism,” which he has “been pleased to see.”
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“Right now, it’s easy to focus on what divides us, and there are plenty of people out there who benefit from driving us further apart. But our future depends on our ability to actively resist those forces; to look past our differences and understand that we want the same things for ourselves, our families, and our communities” Obama said.
“The new movements for justice in this country are informed by the Black and Jewish experience, as well as many other communities who have come together. The more we can focus on what we have in common — whether we’re Black, White, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or anything else — the better off we’ll be.”