House GOP leader claims to stand with 'the Jewish people' after protecting antisemites

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Kevin McCarthy never seems to stand up to antisemitism when it comes from Republicans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed Monday to stand with "the Jewish people," despite a record of countenancing antisemitism within his own party.

"Israel has every right to defend itself against violence and the barrage of rockets from Hamas," he said in a tweet. "The United States unequivocally stands with our ally Israel and the Jewish people."

McCarthy's tweet followed violent clashes in Jerusalem and in the Palestinian territory of Gaza. Amid growing tensions, the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas and others say they fired rockets from Gaza into Jerusalem on Monday following Palestinian clashes with Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that left hundreds injured.

Israel's military said it responded to the rocket attacks with an airstrike on northern Gaza. At least nine Palestinians were reportedly killed.

But while McCarthy has never hesitated to take the side of Israel, he has not been so concerned about defending Jews at home.

In October 2018, McCarthy came under widespread criticism after he tweeted, "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election. Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA."

Progressive donors George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are both Jewish; Tom Steyer, whose father was Jewish, is often misidentified as a Jew. Steyer called the tweet, which echoed an antisemitic trope about rich Jews secretly controlling America, "a straight-up anti-Semitic move."

McCarthy later deleted the tweet but did not apologize. In February 2019, he said that he had attacked the three men because they were Democrats, not because they were Jews. "This had nothing to do about faith," he told Fox News, noting that he loves leading trips to Israel. "This had to do about party and a campaign."

McCarthy enthusiastically endorsed and consistently defended Donald Trump, despite the one-termer's repeated antisemitic comments and tropes.

In December 2015, Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition that he was "a negotiator like you folks" but that "you're not going to support me because I don't want your money." In April 2019 he told the same group that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "your prime minster."

In August 2019 he opined that any Jew who voted for Democrats had "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

McCarthy did not condemn any of Trump's statements.

McCarthy has repeatedly defended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), including her antisemitic and false claims that the wealthy Jewish Rothschild family's investment banking firm was responsible for "space solar generators" emitting laser beams that ignited deadly 2018 California wildfire with laser beams from space.

McCarthy has also done nothing in response to offensive remarks made by other members of his caucus, including Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, who bragged about visiting Adolf Hitler's vacation home and complained about how difficult it is to convert devout Jews to Christianity; and Mary Miller of Illinois, who remarked that Hitler was right about indoctrinating young people. He also took no action when the National Republican Congressional Committee ran antisemitic ads in 2018.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.