Are Liberal Jewish Lawmakers “Clueless on Anti-Semitism?” Prominent Rabbis Say Yes
April 25, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD, April 25, 2017 — The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today termed a group of Democratic Members of Congress “clueless on anti-Semitism, and clueless on Sebastian Gorka” after NY Democratic Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both of whom are Jewish, circulated a letter demanding that President Trump “fire [Dr. Gorka] immediately.” The CJV, representing over 100 rabbis across America, termed this “slander of an ally, and deplorable misuse of anti-Semitism as a political cudgel.”

As first reported on Friday, House Legislators Engel and Lowey distributed a letter to President Trump claiming that “based on recent revelations about Mr. Gorka’s public support for and membership in several anti-Semitic and racist groups in Hungary, he is clearly unfit to serve in any position of responsibility in the White House.” The letter, which has been co-signed by at least 18 of their colleagues, says that they are motivated to make this demand “as members of the US Congress who care deeply about fighting anti-Semitism at home and abroad.”

“This is yet another shameful accusation of anti-Semitism from Jewish Democrats against those whose views do not conform to their own,” said Senior CJV Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Aryeh Spero, “as if Judaism and liberalism were one and the same. Dr. Gorka has proven himself a staunch defender of Israel and Jewish interests, and has worked amicably together with Jewish individuals in many different situations.”

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Gorka, whose father accompanied Jewish classmates to school to protect them from anti-Semitism in Hungary, is a scholar of terrorism, jihad and how they are to be defeated — topics which naturally ally him with Israeli security experts. Others have labeled him an “infamous anti-Muslim scholar” for his effort to understand jihad in the context of Islamic history.

“There is absolutely no record of Sebastian Gorka making statements against Jews or, for that matter, against any other ethnic or religious group,” Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, another CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow, pointed out. “People should be judged by their deeds and statements, rather than flimsy assertions of guilt by association. In this regard, Dr. Sebastian Gorka comes out light years ahead of many of his detractors.”

Next month, Gorka is scheduled to speak at the Jerusalem Post annual conference in New York, where he will join an array of American and Israeli leaders deeply committed to the security of the State of Israel, to discuss “Israel-US Relations in the Trump Era.”

“Where were these lawmakers,” added Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of CJV, “when the previous President decided that Judea is ‘Palestinian land‘? No one who failed to relate that statement to traditional anti-Semitic canards about Jewish property theft can claim necessary standing to decide who is or is not an anti-Semite.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), a national organization representing over 100 rabbis serving the American Jewish community in congregations, academic institutions, and Jewish organizations across the United States and Canada, articulates an authentic Jewish perspective on current events, and promotes Jewish values through writing and teaching derived from traditional Jewish thought.

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