Holocaust Remembrance Day is a moment to reflect on the unmatched atrocities and horrific truths of one of the darkest chapters of history. A time to recount the stories of the six million Jews and millions of others slaughtered because of their faith, race, or identity. An opportunity to take inspiration once again from the incredible individuals who survived.
This solemn anniversary is also a reminder: that “never again” is not a slogan, but a promise. Remembrance is not an idle activity, but a daily commitment. Our role, as public servants, as Americans, and as human beings, is to do more than mark a single day on the calendar, but to do the necessary work to counter anti-Semitism, root out hate, and strengthen the causes of tolerance and human rights.
At DHS, we pursue this mission each day, with policies and programs that do not always capture headlines, yet speak to the very best of our country’s character.
DHS leads the fight against domestic violent extremism and crimes fueled by anti-Semitism and ideologies of hate by:
- Sharing actionable and timely intelligence and information to the broadest audience possible regarding the evolving threat landscape.
- Providing communities with the tools to prevent, respond to, and be resilient against acts of violence, including through our newly established Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3), which increases access to the resources communities need to help prevent individuals from radicalizing to violence as our first line of defense.
- Ramping up investments in our grant programs, including by designating combating domestic violent extremism as a “National Priority Area” for two key homeland security grant programs for the first time.
- Calling for a substantial funding boost in the Non-Profit Security Grant Program, so synagogues and other houses of worship can enhance their security and remain havens of prayer and peace.
DHS ensures that our country does not give refuge to perpetrators of genocide, human rights violators, and war criminals. ICE’s Human Rights Violations and War Crimes Center identifies, investigates, and holds accountable anyone responsible for abuses or mass atrocities. In recent years, ICE has investigated and removed:
- A Nazi concentration camp guard.
- A Rwandan official wanted for genocide.
- A Liberian general responsible for torture, rape, and other heinous crimes.
DHS defends the rights of Jewish Americans and people of all faiths to pray, practice, gather, and worship in safety. Combating domestic violent extremism, targeted violence, and hate crimes is a civil rights issue, and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties:
- Convenes national calls in response to incidents of anti-Semitic violence to help communities access federal resources.
- Brings federal government officials, faith-based groups, non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement together to take action to prevent violence.
- Collaborates with the FBI, other government partners, and local communities to address threats directed toward people of faith or communities of color based on their perceived race, ethnicity, or religion.
These examples only scratch the surface. Much more happens year-round, including through the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the DHS resources that are leveraged by our partners across the country via FEMA and CISA.
Each of us has a role to play in keeping our communities safe. Our nearly eight-decade separation from the liberation of Auschwitz does not mean we are free from the forces of evil that gave rise to the Nazis’ power and their campaign of extermination. The rise of anti-Semitic incidents – and the growth of violence connected to hatred, ideological grievances, and false narratives often spread online – are constant reminders of the dangers posed by allowing bigotry to fester unanswered.
We must remember that an attack borne of hate against one minority is an assault on all of society. We must take action, together, to combat and defeat anti-Semitism, domestic violent extremism, and targeted violence. At DHS, on Holocaust Remembrance Day and every day, we are doing just that.