Jewish Democrats Slam Rep. King for Questioning their Jewish Commitment, Implying Anti-Semitism

March 20, 2015

The National Jewish Democratic Council harshly condemned remarks made by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) today asking “how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second.” Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the NJDC Board of Directors, stated:

“I was shocked and horrified when I heard the remarks made by Rep. King today stating that we are ‘Jewish second,’ and implying that Democrats are anti-Semitic. For anyone, let alone an elected official, to actively belittle the hundreds of thousands of American Jews who vote for Democratic candidates is beyond the pale. Furthermore, no matter what reason lawmakers – many of whom are themselves Jewish – may have had for choosing not to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Congressional address, it is deeply offensive to imply their motivations were anti-Semitic. Rep. King is essentially stating that we aren’t Jewish enough for him. How dare he. We demand and deserve an apology at once.”

BuzzFeed News reported:

Rep. Steve King of Iowa said he doesn’t understand how American Jews can be “Democrats first and Jewish second” and support President Obama’s approach to Israel.

“Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that decided they would boycott the president’s speech. One thing that’s happened is — just look at the polling, that means — here is what thing that I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president,” said the Iowa Republican on Boston Herald radio Friday, asked about members of Congress who did not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress earlier in the month.

Boston Herald reported:

When asked by hosts Adriana Cohen and Tom Shattuck if he felt anti-Semitism led some Democratic lawmakers to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Congressional address earlier this month, King said “I see it growing.”

“Anti-Semitism is a component of this and just plain liberalism is another component,” King said. “I mean the president wants the world to be, he thinks somehow he can force the world can be the world he myopically believes it is. You have to be a realist.”