A group of four House Democrats took veiled shots at progressive members of their caucus, denouncing some anti-Israel rhetoric as “antisemitic.”
Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Elaine Luria (VA), Kathy Manning (NC), and Dean Phillips (MN) wrote a letter Wednesday pointing out a spate of antisemitic violence that has swept major American cities in recent weeks. The lawmakers said that “elected officials” have driven antisemitic sentiment by falsely calling Israel an “apartheid state” and accusing the Jewish state of committing acts of “terrorism.”
The letter does not name any one member specifically, however it does quote recent comments made by progressive Democratic House members such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI). The letter also condemned rhetoric recently used by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“Elected officials have used reckless, irresponsible antisemitic rhetoric,” the letter says. “These include repeated, unacceptable, and blatantly antisemitic statements made by a Member of Congress comparing facemasks and other COVID-19 public health measures to ‘what happened in Nazi Germany’ during the Holocaust.”
“We also reject comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an ‘apartheid state’ and committing ‘act[s] of terrorism.’ These statements are antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews,” the letter continues. “We must never forget that less than eighty years ago, within the lifetime of our parents and grandparents, six million people were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust because they were Jews. Israel has long provided the Jewish people with a homeland in which they can be safe after facing centuries of persecution.”
The letter is notable as one of few examples of Democrats policing rhetoric on their own side. Not one Democrat in Congress has denounced Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib by name for anti-Jewish remarks. Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement that party “extremists” are enabling the terror group Hamas by undermining Israel’s right to defend itself. As The Daily Wire reported:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) slammed members of his party Tuesday for pushing a “false narrative” about Israel and pushing policies that would empower terrorists.
Hoyer said that “extremists” in the Democratic Party are undermining the United States’ relationship with its ally Israel. The House majority leader also condemned Hamas, a Palestinian terror group in the Gaza Strip, for using civilians in Gaza as human shields against Israeli counterstrikes.
“I continue to be saddened by the loss of innocent civilian life in Israel and Gaza occurring as a result of Hamas’s ongoing rocket attacks. Israel has the right to defend itself, as any nation does when its civilians are targeted by violence from a terrorist organization whose aim is nothing short of mass murder and the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state,” Hoyer said in a statement.
“Democrats have, for decades, been defenders of Israel because the Jewish state’s rebirth was an inspiring act of progressive justice,” he continued. “We must not allow extremists to hijack important discussions about securing a better future for Israelis and Palestinians by promoting a false narrative that denies the historical and unbroken connection of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.”
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