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August 4, 2006

There’s No Room for Republican Hypocrisy in the Jewish Community

Listed in: Israel, Other Foreign Policy, GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News, Press Releases

Throughout our existence, NJDC has not shied away from criticizing Democrats when their views are counter to those in the mainstream of the Jewish community.

Republicans, however, refuse to hold members of their party accountable when they make statements or hold positions counter to the interests of the Jewish community.

From the top on down, consider the statements made just in the last two weeks by prominent Republican leaders, all of which garnered zero criticism from the Republican Party:

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes

On August 1, Hughes, widely-known as one of President Bush's closest confidants since 1994, referred to comments made by Israeli Minister of Justice Haim Ramon claiming that the U.S. has given Israel the green light to wipe out Hezbollah as "an outrageous statement." Adding insult to injury, according the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Hughes then "compared Ramon to Hezbollah ministers in the Lebanese government who launched the initial July 12 attack on Israel 'without the permission of the government of Lebanon."

Rather than condemning Hughes' statement equating the Israeli Minister of Justice to Hezbollah officials, Republicans said nothing.

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

In an August 1 editorial, the Philadelphia Inquirer blasted Republican Senator Santorum and right-wing bloggers for knowingly and falsely suggesting that Bob Casey had been endorsed by terrorists. Calling Santorum's reelection campaign "dumb, or desperate, or both," the Inquirer notes that in spreading this lie, the "Santorum campaign was either careless or malicious. Even more obnoxious was their refusal to apologize for the error." Santorum's spokesperson said that it didn't really matter that Santorum and others continue to spread the lie, stating, "We thought we should share these kind of sentiments."

Rather than rejecting Santorum's false claims, Republicans said nothing.

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John Warner (R-VA)

Three weeks ago, Republican Chairman Warner and another prominent Senate Republican held up the Senate's consideration of an Israel Solidarity resolution for days because Warner and a Republican colleague objected to a line in the resolution urging the President "to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self defense in Lebanon and Gaza."

Rather than speaking out against two of their own for blocking Congressional support for Israel at a crucial time, Republicans let the two mavericks block the entire Senate from acting.

Republican Representative J.D. Hayworth (AZ)

Hayworth, who describes himself as "one of the leading conservative spokesmen in Congress," is well known for his xenophobic views regarding immigration reform. The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix says, however, that it is Hayworth's "praise for 'Americanization' and its proponent, Henry Ford" that the Jewish community should be most concerned about. Instead of explaining his idolization of Ford - a man who received the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by "one of his biggest admirers, Hitler," The Arizona Republic concluded admiring Ford "doesn't bother Hayworth a bit."

Rather than distancing themselves from Hayworth's defense of the anti-Semitic Ford, Republicans said nothing.

Republicans will do and say whatever they think they need to in order to score cheap political points in the Jewish community. The truth remains, however, that American Jews just aren't buying into Republican rhetoric.

When leaders within the Republican Party express anti-Israel views and hold positions inconsistent with the mainstream of the Jewish Community, as clearly represented above, Republicans refuse to criticize their own. It's shameful, hypocritical, and frankly, offensive.