WASHINGTON – Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Monday in response to Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s “open letter to the Jewish community,” accusing Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock of antisemitism while focusing exclusively on policies relating to Israel:
“Kelly Loeffler is either unable or unwilling to understand the simple fact that Jewish Americans are Americans, period,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “The implication that American Jews have some kind of ‘dual loyalty’ is textbook antisemitism, and has been used for centuries to demonize Jewish people and justify persecution and violence.”
“Sen. Loeffler is borrowing a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook by pointing her finger at her opponent for antisemitism and claiming to care about the Jewish community, despite her history of appealing to white nationalists and using racist and antisemitic dogwhistles to spread division and fear among Georgia voters. Her attempts to make bigotry part of her campaign strategy make Jewish Americans less safe, whether we’re walking down the streets of our neighborhoods or through the doors of our holy spaces. Her claim to speak for our community when her campaign puts us in danger is disgraceful.”
Polling has repeatedly shown that Israel is a lower priority issue for American Jewish voters than domestic issues such as health care and the economy. Loeffler’s decision to focus exclusively on Israel in a letter targeting American Jews is rooted in the antisemitic idea that Jews’ primary loyalty is to Israel. President Trump has faced widespread criticism for using similar tropes, such as referring to Israel as “your country” in a call with American Jewish leaders in September.
Accusing powerful Black faith and political leaders of antisemitism appears to be a core part of Loeffler’s campaign strategy, along with attacks about “radical socialists” reminiscent of attacks on the Civil Rights Movement. Loeffler made similar baseless accusations against the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, and has frequently attempted to use these same smears against Warnock and other Democrats as well. She also accused former President Barack Obama of antisemitism, and even tried to smear Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, as antisemitic and anti-American.
“Kelly Loeffler clearly thinks the best way to revive enthusiasm and distract voters from her photos with neo-Nazis and her insider trading scandal is to tokenize and scapegoat Jewish Americans while cozying up to the worst elements of the GOP base,” added Cotler. “Georgia voters of all backgrounds are joining together to reject Loeffler’s attempts to use antisemitism and bigotry to hold onto power, and choose senators who represent kindness and decency instead of division and fear.”
This post was originally published on Radio Free.