Four House Democrats condemned their colleagues on both sides of the aisle for fueling anti-Semitism in an open letter on Tuesday.
“We . . . reject comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an ‘apartheid state’ and committing ‘act[s] of terrorism,’” read a letter signed by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) Elaine Luria (D., Va.), Kathy Manning (D., N.C.), and Dean Phillips (D., Minn.). “These statements are antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews.”
The letter added, “Sadly, we have learned from our history that when this type of violence and inflammatory rhetoric goes unaddressed, it can fuel increasing hatred and violence, and lead to unspeakable acts against Jews.”
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), and Cori Bush (D., Mo.) have referred to Israel as an “apartheid” state. Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) referred to “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza” as “an act of terrorism” during last week’s fighting between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza strip.
After pro-Palestinian demonstrators attacked Jews in New York last week, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter that “we will never, ever tolerate antisemitism” in the city “or in the world.”
“The recent surge in attacks is horrifying. We stand with our Jewish communities in condemning this violence,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
The Tuesday letter also condemned Representative Marjorie Talyor-Greene (R., Ga.), who compared a Tennessee grocery store’s rule requiring employees to display their vaccination status to the requirement for Jews to wear a yellow star during Germany’s Nazi period.
“”[E]lected officials have used reckless, irresponsible antisemitic rhetoric,” the letter states. “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.”
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