WASHINGTON (VINnews) — Two well-known Charedim, and possibly other orthodox Jews, were apparently snubbed by President Biden last week.
Biden held a “unity” summit, but ironically excluded multiple religious Jews, including Duvi Honig. In addition the White House barred journalist Jake Turx from participating in the main event.
Making this especially painful was the fact that the orthodox community has been targeted by the exact hate crimes that the event was specifically designed to tackle.
The summit was requested by antisemite Al Sharpton following a mass shooting in Buffalo of 10 black shoppers. The event brought together hundreds of minority activists and community leaders, yet Orthodox Jews, who proportionally may be the biggest victims of hate crimes, struggled to be allowed in.
A group of four journalists from Ami magazine led by Turx were banned from the main event: a speech by Biden that was attended by hundreds.
Although they submitted electronic RSVPs, they were excluded due to “spacing constraints”. Yet a large number of reporters were allowed in, chosen via a mysterious prescreening process.
The reporters were first denied entry completely, then pleaded with staffers including press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and were ultimately allowed in thanks to a Jewish staffer. However they were forced to cover the event from the White House driveway, rather than being allowed indoors. .
Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce CEO Duvi Honig made a strong effort to be allowed in, but was ultimately snubbed.
He tried to RSVP by contacting three Biden staffers and even got an endorsement from Governor Phil Murphy’s office to be honored as a Uniter — an award given to just 16 people.
He did not hear back.
“They didn’t recognize any Orthodox Jew as a Uniter purposely, which stands out while then recogniz[ing] Islamic, Reform [Jews], [Christian leaders] and so on,” said Honig. “Our community’s leaders from the various large communities of Orthodox sectors where daily attacks accrue were missing [from] the summit and not invited.”
Honig pointed out that Reform Jews, who were better represented, are less likely to be victims of hate crimes because they don’t wear the attire of Orthodox Jews. “We were used and stepped on and spit out. There’s just no better way to say it than you’re making a wedding and you’re not inviting the bride and groom — you just wanted a party,” he said.
“The question is, is [Biden] punishing the Orthodox community for supporting [former President Donald] Trump? Regardless, my concern is as we’re going into the high holy holidays, would people read that Orthodox Jew attacks aren’t recognized by the White House? Because that encourages people to continue to be more aggressive” Honig said.
“The White House used hate. They used us, our blood — they used our DNA of Jews being persecuted and attacked daily as an excuse to make an event and didn’t include Orthodox Jews, who were the number one [target of] hate and antisemitism,” Honig said.
After the summit, Turx contacted Jean-Pierre to express concern about the sidelining of his Orthodox Jewish team despite the many hate crimes targeting the Charedi community.
He ultimately got a (weak) response from the press office, saying it would try to include his publication in other events. Jake was somewhat relieved.
“I’m relieved that we were able to reach an understanding,” Turx told The NY Post. “The Jewish people have enough enemies as is. Thankfully the White House press shop isn’t on that list.”