January 25th, 2010
07:58 PM ET
13 years ago

Jewish political groups spar over anti-Semitism


The National Jewish Democratic Council questioned several Republican leaders for not speaking out against Tea Party activists who allegedly invoked strong Holocaust references at a November rally on health care. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - The Republican Jewish Coalition called foul Monday on the National Jewish Democratic Council after the group criticized GOP leaders and an Illinois Republican Senate candidate for failing, in its estimation, to repudiate anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The NJDC wrapped its' criticism of the GOP in a statement declaring that it had "launched a 'pledge campaign' to demand that federal candidates condemn and refrain from 'abusive Holocaust rhetoric and anti-Semitic language.'"

The NJDC offered specific praise for the candidates seeking the Illinois Democratic Senate nomination, while at the same time disparaging Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, for not embracing their language. Kirk is running for the Republican Senate nomination.

"The leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Illinois have committed to condemn and repudiate abusive Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic remarks made by anyone claiming to support their candidacy or attending any campaign events," Linda Berg, NJDC political director, said in the statement. "Where are Mark Kirk and the other Republican candidates on this important issue, and why won't they pledge to take a stand against this profoundly divisive rhetoric?"

Kirk condemned anti-Semitism in a blog entry time stamped Monday morning on his official House Web site.

"As we pause to remember the horrors of the Nazi genocide, we must reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in our day – at home and around the world," Kirk wrote in the post.

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks condemned the NJDC for the criticism of Kirk and other Republicans saying it was insincere.

"It's transparently obvious that this is nothing but a disingenuous effort on the part of the NJDC to play politics with a serious issue," Brooks said. "The fact that they would tilt their pledge so overtly partisan discredits the entire effort."

"I think we can all say that we would like to see an end to Holocaust imagery and anti-Semitism in politics," Brooks added.

Filed under: Extra • Mark Kirk
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Palin Power

    This is a clear sign that Palin will become America's greatest President.

    January 25, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. MatthewDetroit

    THESE JEWISH GROUPS have it all mixed up.

    The Republicans are the ONLY ones that stick up for Israel.

    Your MAN Barack gives into the arabic hate and all the anti Semite talk.

    The DEMS all want to throw Israel under a bus. They dont want you to even be allowed to protect yourselves.

    They are more concerned for the Palestinian Terrorist who want to build a state in Israel.

    Even HILLARY the dream loved visiting Arafat and went to his grave.

    Wake up my JEWISH FRIENDS you are proetesting the wrong side.

    January 25, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. T'SAH from Virginia

    Leave it to the TEA PARTIERS and the far-right RepubliCAN'Ts who support them to alienate every nationality in America. The only PURE race is THEIR race and what they belive in.

    I keep saying and I will say it again – In the LONG RUN – the far right RepubliCAN'Ts are in for a RUDE AWAKENING!!! They think they are WINNING America back when America DIDN'T belong to them in the first place!!!

    January 25, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    As someone Jewish who normally votes Democrat, I would like to go on record as saying that using such a serious and grave topic to play politics is disgusting, and should not be happening. Pot, meet Kettle. Both of you, stop playing into each others' crap.

    January 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. Patriot

    No surprises here....the Repukes hate America. Why shouldn't they hate Jews?

    January 25, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    I wonder if the NJDC will now take a stand against Jimmy Carter...I think not. Hypocracy is their true religion.

    January 25, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Marc

    Gee, the party of Jimmy Carter, the most egregious anti-semite in the modern American political environment, and in support of a President who never heard anything worth challenging in 20 years of anti-semitic preaching in his church, is upset because their partisan 'anti-semitism' language isn't adopted? Where was the NJDC when Jesse Jackson was commenting on 'Hymietown', or Al Sharpton when he was calling Jews 'diamond merchants' and teasing about 'pinning yamulkes on' in Crown Heights? Linda Berg would have more credibility is she first addressed 'the beam in (her) eye' before focusing on the mote on Mark Kirk. And yes, I'm quoting the New Testament, but the quote fits better than any in the Torah I'm aware of. Of course, I left my Reform synagogue over similar concerns, all political evil comes from Republicans and no Democrat has ever done wrong.

    January 25, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. Slider


    I wonder if any of these activists have read Norman Podhoretz's latest?

    Nope. The NJDC is too busy getting Dems elected.

    Then again, is it possible that this is yet another coordinated attack linked to Mr. Foxman?


    Caught like a five-year-old's hand in the cookie jar. No one believes these antics anymore.

    Except doltish progressives...

    January 25, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Jack

    Why would the Jewish community expect the Republican (Nazi) Party to acknowledge the Holocaust?

    Look at their party leaders, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, etc and anyone wonders about the coming emergence of the Nazi's?

    January 25, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. greg

    Every war is a Holocaust and the first casualty of was is the truth.

    January 25, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Larry

    How about speaking out regarding Israel murdering Palestinians ...

    Is one murder any different than another ...

    Look in the mirror NJDC, before you judge others ....

    January 25, 2010 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Anne

    Too bad Mark Kirk won't repudiate the Tea Partier's anti-Semitism!

    January 25, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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