A group of Jewish Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to President Joe Biden Tuesday criticizing “reckless, irresponsible” antisemitic remarks espoused by both progressives and conservatives in Congress.
The letter was led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, and was written a day before Biden meets with Jewish advocacy groups amid a rise in antisemitic hate crimes across the United states fueled by the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. It calls for a “united, all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism in this country,” and urges Biden to name an “experienced and qualified United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”
The letter references comments made by Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has compared mask requirements to the Holocaust on multiple occasions. Her comments were condemned by Republican leadership in the House and Senate.
“[E]lected 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.”
The letter “reject[s] comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an ‘apartheid state’ and committing ‘act[s] of terrorism,” adding that such statements are “antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews.”
“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,” the letter says. “Israel has long provided the Jewish people with a homeland in which they can be safe after facing centuries of persecution.”
The letter was also signed by Democratic Reps. Elaine Luria of Virginia, Kathy Manning of North Carolina and Dean Phillips of Minnesota.
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