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'it's abhorrent'

Blinken: Swastika carving in State Department elevator shows 'anti-Semitism isn't a relic of the past'

After a swastika carving was found Monday inside a State Department elevator, Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a memo to all employees, condemning the vandalism.

The carving "painfully reminds us" that "anti-Semitism isn't a relic of the past," Blinken said in the memo, which was reviewed by CNN. "It's still a force in the world, including close to home. And it's abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department, or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it." 

Anti-semitism "often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other hatreds," Blinken wrote. "None of these ideologies should have a home in our workplace or our nation." Blinken said the swastika has been removed, and the State Department's law enforcement branch is investigating the incident.

The Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,024 anti-Semitic incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism against Jews in 2020, the third-highest number since the ADL began counting reports in 1979.