A Washington, D.C. council candidate and staff lawyer at Judicial Watch, the activist conservative group, refused to distance himself from a director of the group, Chris Farrell, who used an anti-Semitic dog whistle last week.
A spokesperson for Fox News confirmed to TPM Sunday that, following his remarks about the “Soros-occupied” State Department in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs, Farrell won’t be invited back to Fox News or Fox Business as a guest.
That, apparently, wasn’t enough for Michael Bekesha, a Judicial Watch lawyer and Washington, D.C. city council candidate, to condemn Farrell’s comments directly.
In emails to Washingtonian, which repeatedly pressed Bekesha to comment directly on the news, the Republican candidate assured D.C. voters that “I condemn all hate speech, bigoted beliefs, and conspiracy theories” and that “The rhetoric we hear on cable news and on social media does nothing but divide us.”
But when it came to his own colleague — who alleged on national television that “a lot of these folks [migrants and asylum seekers traveling toward the U.S. border] also have affiliates who are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department” — Bekesha was mum.
He said only that he has “taken leave from my day job” for the past three weeks to campaign.
In a statement to TPM, Bekesha similarly avoided discussing Farrell directly, instead bringing up D.C. Council member Trayon White, who received a wave of negative press earlier this year for asserting that Jews control the weather and for donating constituent services funds to a Nation of Islam event, among other damaging moves. White apologized for his conspiratorial comments about Jews and paid back the funds he’d given to the Nation of Islam.
“As I noted in April when none of our elected officials called for the resignation of Councilmember Trayon White, anti-Semitism is on the rise not only across the country but also here in DC,”Bekesha wrote. “That must stop. As a Jewish American, I still remember seeing my first Swastika in public and the fear it instilled.”
He continued: “I condemn all hate speech, bigoted beliefs, and conspiracy theories. Divisive language against Jews led to the killing of 11 Jewish Americans in Pittsburgh on Saturday. If we don’t work together as neighbors to root out anti-Semitism, my community in Washington could be next.”
But, as with Washingtonian, Bekesha did not respond when asked if he thought Farrell’s statements constituted an anti-Semitic dog whistle.
This post has been updated.