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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Republican Jewish Coalition has said that Santos ‘deceived us’ over his heritage

On Tuesday, the most prominent organisation of Jewish Republican political contributors in the nation issued a statement in which it expressed “disappointment” that Representative-elect George Santos had misrepresented himself as Jewish, and it announced that it would prohibit Santos from its events moving forward. However, the organisation, the Republican Jewish Coalition, did not go as far as to say that he was unsuitable to serve in Congress or to demand that he be removed from office.

Mr. Santos, a Republican who was elected to represent a New York district that includes much of Long Island’s North Shore last month, has become embroiled in a scandal that is continuing to grow as a result of misstatements and lies he told about his education, employment, and finances. The scandal is growing because Mr. Santos lied about his education, employment, and finances.

He also asserted, on multiple occasions, that he was a descendant of European Jews who had fled to Brazil in order to escape the Holocaust and that, despite the fact that he was religiously Catholic, he also identified as a nonobservant Jew. He said this despite the fact that his family had fled to Brazil in order to escape the Holocaust. During his time campaigning in a highly Jewish region, he referred to himself as a Jew. He also made a habit of attending events with rabbis and other prominent members of the religious community.

However, he said that he “never claimed to be Jewish” in an interview with The New York Post that was published on Monday.

Mr. Santos had “deceived us and misrepresented his background,” the executive director of the coalition, Matt Brooks, said in a statement. Mr. Santos “will not be welcome at any future R.J.C. event,” Brooks said.

At the annual leadership conference held by the coalition in Las Vegas a month ago, Mr. Santos, who is 34 years old, was a featured speaker. On December 18, he was a prominent guest at a Hanukkah celebration that was given by the organisation on Long Island. He attended the gathering with Representative Lee Zeldin. The findings of the study into his history that was conducted by The New York Times were released the next day.

According to a statement made by a spokeswoman for the R.J.C., no one in the coalition could think of a prior occasion in which an elected figure made a false claim about being Jewish.

Although it contributed at least $3 million to Republican candidates in the midterm election through its political arm, the Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund, the coalition did not give any money to Mr. Santos before he won. Mr. Santos’ victory was due in large part to the support of the Republican Jewish Coalition. However, a spokeswoman for the organisation has verified that after Mr. Santos won the election, $5,000 in the form of a “debt retirement” check was given to him.

In an email, Norm Coleman, a former senator from Minnesota who is now serving as the chairman of the R.J.C., referred to the words made by Mr. Santos as “shameful.” “I believe he will have a very brief term in the United States Congress,” he went on to say later on in the conversation.

In a message on Twitter, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Republican counterpart of the organisation, took a tougher stance, calling on Mr. Santos “to not take the oath of office” and criticising the R.J.C.’s credibility for not taking the same action.

In the past, the R.J.C. has adopted a more combative attitude in response to what it deems to be an insult to the Jewish community.

It asked many times that Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, be removed from her place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee for making comments against Israel and Israeli politics that the organisation referred to as “antisemitic tropes.”

Gabriel Groisman, the former mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida, and a member of the board of directors of the coalition, stated that he had met Mr. Santos at the event in Las Vegas and that he had been excited that a Jewish Republican was elected to the New York delegation in Congress; however, he described the recent revelations as being “extremely offensive.”

He went farther than the R.J.C. statement and said that “the Republican leadership should denounce Santos publicly, and he should not be granted any committee assignments.” This goes beyond what was said in the R.J.C. statement.

Mr. Groisman continued by saying, “Thank goodness the terms in Congress only last two years.” “I’m hoping that we’ll be able to free him as soon as we possibly can.”

One of the new board members of the organisation, Josh Katzen, who is the president of a Massachusetts commercial real estate firm, pointed to multiple examples of Democrats who were accused of embellishing their records in the past. These examples included Hillary Clinton, who claimed in 2008 that she had to run across a tarmac to avoid sniper fire during a 1996 trip in Bosnia, and President Biden, who said he finished in the top half of his law school class and attended on a full academic scholars scholarship.

In the same email, Mr. Katzen continued by saying, “And I’m expected to worry if, in an era of rampant antisemitism, a politician wants to join my tribe? The issue is not at the top of my priority list.”

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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