Congressman with history of antisemitic comments files resolution against antisemitism


North Carolina Republican Madison Cawthorn has complained about how hard it is to convert Jews to Christianity.

Just seven months into his first term in Congress, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has already earned an international reputation for antisemitic words and deeds. Now he's trying to get the House of Representatives to back a resolution condemning antisemitism.

On Monday, Cawthorn introduced nonbinding resolution H.Res. 557 under the heading "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives against the malignant and metastasizing ideology of anti-Semitism."

Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Bill Johnson of Ohio signed on as original co-sponsors.

While Cawthorn now presents himself as an opponent of antisemitism, his previous actions indicate a different view.

In 2017, he shared on social media that he had visited Adolf Hitler's vacation home, which he said had been on his "bucket list" and "did not disappoint." When CNN reported on the post in August 2020, Cawthorn dismissed the criticism as "conspiracy theories." His original Instagram post has since been removed.

After winning his House race last November, Cawthorn complained to the Jewish Insider about how difficult it is to convert Jewish people to Christianity.

Asked if he had ever tried to convert Jewish people, he said, "I have, unsuccessfully. I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people. But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I've had a hard time connecting with them in that way."

Days after taking office, Cawthorn again offended Jewish leaders by tweeting a paraphrase of a famous quote about ignoring the suffering of others during the Holocaust to try to drive traffic to his campaign committee's online store.

"First they came for our Free Speech, then they came for our Free Markets, next they'll come for our Free Shipping on orders $50 or more with promo code: FREEDOM50," the tweet said. Cawthorn reportedly blamed the tweet on a staffer during a meeting with Jewish constituents and claimed not to have known the source of the original words.

The following week, when the House voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committee assignments "in light of conduct she has exhibited," after she had repeatedly made antisemitic, Islamophobic, and racist comments, Cawthorn voted no.

In May, he blamed progressives for increasing antisemitism, tweeting, "The rise of #Antisemitism perpetuated by the left must be called out. There is no room for hate in our society."

A Cawthorn spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

In 2019, current H.Res. 557 co-sponsors Biggs and Buck were two of just 23 no votes in the House on H. Res 183, which condemned discrimination against Jews and Muslims and was drafted after Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was accused of antisemitism for criticizing Israel.

Biggs dismissed it as "a watered-down resolution that said virtually nothing," while Buck said it was "nothing more than a political exercise."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.