Rabbis to Mayor de Blasio, ADL, AJC: Partisan Misuse of Anti-Semitism Endangers Jews

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 observant rabbis in matters of public policy, today rejected accusations of Anti-Semitism against former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani over comments he made regarding George Soros. The rabbinic group termed claims that the mayor’s remarks were Anti-Semitic a “partisan misuse of Anti-Semitism” which minimizes historic anti-Jewish hatred on the rise today — and thus endangers the safety of the Jewish community.

In an interview in New York Magazine, Mayor Giuliani said regarding Soros, “Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him… Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is.” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Twitter that “Opposing Soros isn’t what’s antisemitic… Saying that he controls ambassadors, employs FBI agents and isn’t ‘Jewish enough’ to be demonized is.” The AJC said Giuliani was denying Soros’ faith, and endorsing “classically antisemitic conspiracy theories.” Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in as well, calling Giuliani’s statements an “anti-Semitic rant” and claiming that “attacks our Jewish communities have endured are fueled by this kind of loathsome hate.”

“What Mayor Giuliani had to say about Soros was entirely reasonable,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the CJV, “while Soros’ Jewish identity seems to surface only when it can be used to shield him from justified criticism. Yes, Soros is part of the Jewish nation, but ideologically he is not merely distant but openly hostile towards Israel and Jewish interests. It is ridiculous to link an accurate critique of the use of Soros’ wealth to influence certain public officials to hateful, anti-Semitic lies about Jewish communal control over government at large. When Mayor Giuliani said that he was ‘more of a Jew than Soros,’ the mayor was both condemning Soros’ hostility and touting his own long-standing friendship and advocacy for the Jewish community.”

“Rudy Giuliani became mayor in the wake of what he correctly called a pogrom against Hassidic Jews in Crown Heights,” added Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle, “and made New York City profoundly safer for all. Under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, a new and unprecedented wave of anti-Semitic violence against Hassidic Jews has festered in Brooklyn and beyond, which he initially dismissed as part of a ‘right-wing movement’ when video and arrest records clearly indicated otherwise. For de Blasio to claim Giuliani’s statements ‘fuel’ attacks on Jewish communities is both repugnant and no more realistic than his earlier claims. The Jewish community owes Mayor Giuliani our sincere gratitude, not least because New York City was, during his tenure, safe from the type of attacks that are now becoming increasingly common in the Big Apple, especially against Jews.”

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