Leahy Likens Palestinians to His Irish Ancestors, Urges Rejection of Kyl Amendment


I reported earlier today on Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) amendment to this week’s 2009 spending bill, which appears to be directly inspired by a debunked internet rumor about plans to resettle Palestinian refugees in America.

Earlier today, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) gave a refreshingly candid speech urging rejection of the amendment and comparing today’s everyday Palestinian citizens to his Irish ancestors, who were “hunted because they wouldn’t renounce their religion” and concluding: “Thank goodness the United States had open arms for them.”

A brief excerpt of Leahy’s remarks is after the jump.

You know, I have to think back — I read about my family 150 years or so [ago] when they came to Vermont, on my father’s side, the Irish. I’m sure we had a law like this in place; it is questionable whether they could have come in. The Irish were fighting to keep their land. If they were fighting to keep their rights, fighting for the ability to vote, and they live[d] in what is now the republic of Ireland, they were considered terrorists.

Thanks to Mondoweiss for pointing out the speech.

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