U.S. President Barack Obama issued a somber warning this week that the “darkest impulses of man” have not been extinguished, calling on Americans to “speak out against rhetoric that threatens the existence of the Jewish homeland.”
Obama accepted a humanitarian award from director Steven Spielberg at the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, a Holocaust museum founded by Spielberg after he made the film Schindler’s List.
Obama spoke about a variety of global conflicts, including Ukraine, Syria and the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls by the Boko Haram Islamist militant group.
“We only need to look at today’s headlines—the devastation of Syria, the murders and kidnappings in Nigeria, the sectarian conflicts, the tribal conflicts—to see that we have not yet extinguished man’s darkest impulses,” Obama said.
He expressed alarm, saying that Americans must “confront a rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world,” based on events such as a gunman’s attack on two Jewish facilities in Kansas and the distribution of pamphlets in eastern Ukraine that demanded the registration of Jews.
“Standing up to anti-Semitism is not simply about protecting one community or one religious group. There is no such thing as ‘targeted’ hatred,” Obama added.
Obama also reiterated his obligation to “sustain America’s unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”
“The work of this foundation,” he said, “the testimonies of survivors like those with us tonight, also remind us that the purpose of memory is not simply to preserve the past; it is to protect the future.”
The Shoah Foundation’s annual gala featured Bruce Springsteen performing “Promised Land” and “Dancing in the Dark,” and a comedy routine from Conan O’Brien.
At Obama’s table were Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Schindler’s List star Liam Neeson.
For the original article, visit israelhayom.com.