King Says Anti-Semitism Contributed To Democrats’ Netanyahu Boycott

AP

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) criticized “Jews in America” who, in an effort to align themselves with President Obama’s stance on Israel, are “Democrats first and Jewish second,” BuzzFeed reported on Friday.

King’s comments were made during an interview on Friday with Boston Herald Radio about the members of Congress who refused to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3.

“Well, there were some 50 or so Democrats that, that decided they would boycott the president’s speech,” King said. “Here’s what I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President.”

“It says this, they’re knee-jerk supporters of the President’s policy,” King continued. “The President’s policies throughout the Middle East have been a disaster. I would say to them, ‘Name a country with which we have better relations today than we had when Barack Obama took office.’ And I gave that in speeches for about six weeks until some lag stood up and said, ‘I can name you two, they are Cuba and Iran.'”

King was then asked whether anti-semitism played a role in the decision to abstain from Netanyahu’s speech.

“I see it growing. I’m amazed to see this happen,” King said. “It’s a phenomenon that I did not expect to see in post-World War II, the revulsion of what we saw. But anti-Semitism is a component of this and just plain liberalism is another component. I mean the president wants the world to be, he thinks somehow he can force the world to be the way he myopically believes it is. You have to be a realist.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at ahiza@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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