Rep. Betty McCollum’s Tweet and Comments “Flatly Anti-Semitic,” Rabbis Say
March 5, 2020

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional, observant rabbis in matters of public policy, today condemned comments made by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) on Twitter Monday, which she tagged “#StopAIPACsHate.” The rabbinic group said the tweet, which linked to an interview between Rep. McCollum and the anti-Israel ‘Middle East Eye’ news site, encapsulated numerous anti-Semitic tropes and inverted the bigotry found in that part of the world.

“It is hard to find a more concise demonstration of anti-Semitic rhetoric cloaked in ‘Palestinian rights’ advocacy than this tweet,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV. “That she would outrageously call AIPAC ‘hateful’ even while spouting hate herself is truly scurrilous and ill-disguises her contempt for Jews and the Jewish state.”

The CJV analyzed the four elements of what Rep. McCollum described as “AIPAC’s agenda” in her tweet on Monday:

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Occupy & annex Palestinian land — Arabs invaded the Jewish homeland, which Jews never left except as a result of bigotry and ethnic cleansing. Arab mobs massacred the Jews of Hebron, for example, in 1929. Yet McCollum characterizes Israel as stealing Judea from “Palestinians” (a name created by Greco-Roman occupiers, rather than any indigenous population). False accusations of Jewish theft are core elements of Anti-Semitic bias.

Dehumanize Palestinians — This accusation is directed against the only country in the world with both Arab and Jewish Supreme Court justices, government ministers, TV anchors and reality show winners. Considering the ethnic cleansing of Jews across the Arab world just since the creation of Israel, from Libya, Tangiers, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and elsewhere, it is an anti-Semitic inversion to assert that it is Arabs who are being dehumanized by Jews.

Imprison Palestinian children — Israel imprisons teenagers who commit violent crimes, as does the United States. To condemn Israel for arresting them is to advocate for underage murderers to be able to kill with impunity. She makes no similar claim in any situation where the victims are not predominantly Jews.

Promote Islamophobia — This is, as well, an anti-Semitic inversion. AIPAC stands for decency and peace, whereas McCollum, in this tweet itself, backed terrorism  and hatred directed uniquely against Jews.

“Inadvertently, she simply proved AIPAC’s point,” concluded Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV. “Certain radical members of Congress have endorsed the worst sorts of Jew hatred while claiming merely to advocate for the ‘rights’ of those who can only vote in free and fair democratic elections if they have the good fortune to live in Israel. She threatens not only Israel’s flourishing democracy, but America’s as well.”

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