GOP leaders condemn Greene's Holocaust comments, but accuse Democrats of antisemitism
The top two Republicans in the House denounced Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Tuesday for comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust, but accused Democrats of ignoring a rise in antisemitism in their own party.
Why it matters: The U.S. and parts of Europe have seen a rise in antisemitic attacks and harassment in the wake of violence between Israel and Hamas.
- Progressive lawmakers have pressured Biden to confront Israel over its military offensive in Gaza, which killed at least 232 Palestinians before a ceasefire was reached last week.
- Republicans have sought to cast progressives' criticism of the Israeli government, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, as antisemitic.
Driving the news: Greene on Tuesday morning compared Food City employees wearing a logo indicating whether they had been vaccinated against COVID-19 to Jewish people being forced to wear the yellow star of David in Nazi Germany.
What they're saying: “Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement.
- “At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi," he added.
Reality check: Pelosi tweeted on Monday, "The recent spike in antisemitic attacks against Jews around the country and the world is horrific, heartbreaking & demands action. Antisemitism cannot be tolerated. We must come together as Americans to condemn and combat this appalling bigotry and hatred."
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, has also spoken out against the recent rise in antisemitic attacks, and condemned Greene's remarks on Tuesday as "sickening" and "reprehensible."
- And President Biden tweeted Monday: "The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor."
A spokesperson for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told The Hill that the congressman "does not agree with [Greene's] comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust."
- "We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party," the spokesperson added.
House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tweeted: "Equating mask wearing and vaccines to the Holocaust belittles the most significant human atrocities ever committed. We must all work together to educate our fellow Americans on the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust. #NeverAgain"
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Greene's comments as "outrageous" and "reprehensible," but used a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday largely to criticize Democrats for not doing enough to speak out against antisemitism.
Flashback: Greene was stripped from her committee assignments earlier this year, in part over her past statements, which included antisemitic remarks.