Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken sent a letter to employees of the State Department on Tuesday saying that a swastika was found this week in an elevator at the department’s headquarters in Washington.
Mr. Blinken said that the graffiti had been removed and that an investigation was ongoing. Mr. Blinken said the department had no tolerance for the hateful images and reiterated the administration’s stance against anti-Semitism. The memo was first reported by Axios.
“Anti-Semitism is not a relic of the past. It has no place in the U.S., at the State Department or anywhere else,” Mr. Blinken said. “To our Jewish colleagues please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues.”
The memo came on the day that testimony began on Capitol Hill about the postelection riot on Jan. 6, when an angry mob shouting racist and anti-Semitic messages stormed the seat of government.
Mr. Blinken’s stepfather, Samuel Pisar, survived two concentration camps as a child, and as an adult worked to promote Holocaust awareness in Europe. Mr. Blinken has said Mr. Pisar’s story helped to influence his belief that the U.S. must confront bigotry and atrocity around the world.
Mr. Blinken participated in a Holocaust awareness ceremony in Germany last month, where he announced a joint U.S.-German program to support public education about the Nazi era.
In a statement, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, called the swastika “a serious incident of anti-Semitic vandalism, which once again shows that anti-Semitism does not distinguish between Jews in Israel and Jews in America, and harms not only Israel but the entire world.
“We must fight together resolutely against anti-Semitism of any kind,” the statement said, “and bring to justice anyone who acts out of hatred for the Jewish people.”
Michael Crowley contributed reporting.
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