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Democratic Watchdog Urges House Committee to Rescind RFK Jr.’s Invitation over Antisemitic Comments

by Lucas Garcia
2 comments
Antisemitism

A Democratic watchdog group is calling on a U.S. House committee to withdraw its invitation to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. following his controversial comments that were condemned as antisemitic. The executive director of the Congressional Integrity Project, Kyle Herrig, sent a letter to Republican Representative Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, urging him to disinvite Kennedy from an upcoming hearing. Kennedy’s remarks, made during a dinner in New York City, falsely suggested that COVID-19 might have been designed to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, leading to widespread accusations of racism and antisemitism.

Despite disagreeing with Kennedy’s comments, a spokesperson for Representative Jordan stated that the hearing would proceed as planned on Thursday. The video footage, initially published by The New York Post, captured Kennedy claiming that COVID-19 could be “ethnically targeted” and disproportionately affecting certain races. He further mentioned that Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people seemed to have greater immunity, although he acknowledged the lack of clarity regarding intentional targeting. Kennedy later took to Twitter, stating that his words were twisted and denying ever suggesting that COVID-19 was deliberately engineered to spare Jewish individuals. He also made unsubstantiated claims about the development of bioweapons to target specific ethnicities and called for a retraction of The New York Post’s article.

Researchers and doctors, including immunologist Michael Mina, refuted Kennedy’s assertions, stating that it is scientifically implausible to create a virus that exclusively targets specific ethnicities. Democrats and anti-hate groups swiftly condemned Kennedy’s comments, emphasizing that they did not reflect the views of the Democratic Party. Prominent figures, such as Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Representative Suzan DelBene, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, denounced Kennedy’s remarks as reprehensible and unfit for public office.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Kennedy’s claims as false, “vile,” and endangering fellow Americans. The Anti-Defamation League and the anti-hate watchdog Stop Antisemitism also issued statements condemning Kennedy’s remarks, calling them offensive and perpetuating harmful conspiracy theories. Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization and sister of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., issued a statement strongly condemning her brother’s comments and clarifying that they did not align with her own beliefs or the organization’s values.

Kennedy is scheduled to testify before the GOP-led House subcommittee on Thursday, focusing on the government’s role in censoring Americans. He has been a vocal critic of social media companies and the government, accusing them of colluding to censor his speech and spreading vaccine misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to his suspension from multiple platforms.

Kyle Herrig’s letter to Representative Jordan referred to Kennedy as a “total whack job” and highlighted the video evidence of his antisemitic and xenophobic views, urging the chairman to disinvite him from the hearing. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed his disagreement with Kennedy’s statements but emphasized the importance of not resorting to censorship, as the hearing’s purpose centered around addressing the issue of censorship in America.

Kennedy has a history of comparing vaccines to the Holocaust, and although he has apologized for such remarks in the past, he has continued to make similar comments during the COVID-19 pandemic. His rhetoric has drawn criticism from various organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Note: The article concludes with additional details about Big Big News’s support from private foundations to enhance its coverage of elections and democracy, and a mention that the AP is solely responsible for the content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Antisemitism

What comments did Robert F. Kennedy Jr. make that were considered antisemitic?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made comments suggesting that COVID-19 could have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. He claimed that the virus disproportionately affects certain races and mentioned that Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people seemed to have greater immunity. These remarks were widely criticized as racist and antisemitic.

What was the response to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s comments?

There was widespread condemnation of Kennedy’s comments from Democrats, anti-hate groups, and various organizations. Many emphasized that his remarks did not represent the views of the Democratic Party. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called his claims false and “vile,” while the Anti-Defamation League and Stop Antisemitism issued statements denouncing his statements as offensive and perpetuating harmful conspiracy theories.

What action did the Democratic watchdog group take in response to the comments?

The Democratic watchdog group, Congressional Integrity Project, called for the House committee to rescind its invitation to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for an upcoming hearing. They sent a letter to the committee chairman, Representative Jim Jordan, urging him to disinvite Kennedy due to the video evidence of his antisemitic and xenophobic views.

Did Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologize for his comments?

No, Kennedy initially denied suggesting that COVID-19 was deliberately engineered to spare Jewish people and instead claimed that his words were twisted. However, he later apologized for comparing vaccines to the Holocaust in the past. His sister, Kerry Kennedy, also condemned his comments and stated that they did not align with her beliefs or the values of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization.

How did House Speaker Kevin McCarthy respond to calls for disinviting Kennedy?

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy disagreed with Kennedy’s comments but stated that censoring him would not be the answer. He emphasized that the purpose of the upcoming hearing was to address the issue of censorship in America, and he believed that the first action to censor someone might contribute to the existing problems.

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2 comments

FightingHate July 18, 2023 - 2:02 am

It’s disheartening to see someone with influence promoting harmful stereotypes. We need to educate and promote understanding instead of spreading hate. #EndHateSpeech

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NewsJunkie24 July 18, 2023 - 5:56 pm

Antisemitism has no place in society. We must stand together and condemn such bigotry. Kennedy’s comments are deeply offensive and hurtful. #NoHate

Reply

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