Thursday, November 29, 2001

Anti-Semitic Politics

From the Washington Times

An aide to Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, Georgia Democrat, has infuriated Jewish Democrats by suggesting that Jewish members of Congress have dual loyalties and should not sit on the House International Relations Committee.

Raeed Tayeh, in a letter published in this week's edition of the Hill newspaper in which he identified himself as being from the office of Miss McKinney, scolded Jewish-American lawmakers who had been quoted in the publication as being unhappy with President Bush for supporting the idea of a Palestinian state.

Mr. Tayeh said he was disturbed "that many of these pro-Israeli lawmakers sit on the House International Relations Committee despite the obvious conflict of interest that their emotional attachments to Israel cause."

Mr. Tayeh added: "The Israeli occupation of all territories must end, including Congress."

The National Jewish Democratic Council, which, as its name suggests, is affiliated with the Democratic Party, responded yesterday in a letter sent to the Hill newspaper and released to other media outlets.

"With regard to Mr. Raeed Tayeh's letter of November 28th, in which he questions the loyalties of Jewish members of Congress, only a scoundrel and a bigot would choose to impugn a member's loyalty and commitment to this country based upon his or her ethnicity or religion," NJDC Executive Director Ira N. Forman said.

"Accusing Jews of being disloyal to their country — due to their support for Israel and other central aspects of our faith — recalls the most vile anti-Semitic canards that have been invoked against Jews throughout the ages."

Mr. Tayeh has resigned his position, Mrs. McKinney's office said yesterday.
Mrs. McKinney recently caused a stir when she wrote a Saudi sheik asking for $10 million to be used exclusively for needy blacks. The money had been rejected by New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani when the Saudi linked the September 11 terror attacks to U.S. policy toward Israel.