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Amid silence on Hakeem Jeffries' anti-Semitic uncle, Jewish leader rips left's double standard

"Biden resoundingly praised Rashida Tlaib, an overt Jew-hater," said Zionist Organization of America head Morton Klein. "That's much worse than Trump not repudiating antisemitism for his dinner. Tlaib has real power and influence in Congress."

Published: November 30, 2022 6:32pm

Updated: December 1, 2022 11:03pm

Donald Trump has come under heavy fire for dining at his Florida home last week with two men who denounce Jews and promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. However, nearly everyone criticizing the former president has been silent about the uncle of the newly elected House Democratic leader being an avowed anti-Semite.

The lack of consistency in spotlighting anti-Semitism appears to be part of what experts describe as a broader societal double standard in condemning certain people of Jew-hatred but not others.

At his Mar-a-Lago compound, Trump hosted Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West who's made a torrent of anti-Semitic remarks in recent weeks, and Nick Fuentes, an outspoken anti-Semite and Holocaust denier.

The dinner triggered an avalanche of criticism from Democrats, journalists, activist groups, and Republican leaders. One New York Times writer dubbed it "Trump's antisemitic banquet." Trump has since said he didn't know anything about Fuentes, who Ye brought along with him, when they dined together.

"It's appropriate to demand Trump repudiate their views, and it's deeply troubling that he hasn't done so," Morton Klein, head of the Zionist Organization of America, told Just the News. "Not repudiating them helps normalize and legitimize antisemitism."

Meanwhile, House Democrats on Wednesday elected New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as the leader of their conference, making Jeffries the first black American to head a major political party in Congress.

Not mentioned in the press coverage is the fact that Jeffries' uncle, Leonard Jeffries, is an academic notorious for his anti-Semitic and black supremacist teachings.

Leonard Jefferies "preaches Jew-hatred like a religion," according to a 1991 report by the American Jewish Committee.

In 2017, the Anti-Defamation League wrote of Jeffries: He "asserted that 'rich Jews' controlled the black slave trade, and that Hollywood was the site of a Jewish-dominated conspiracy to systematically denigrate Blacks. He called the then-Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch the 'ultimate, supreme, sophisticated, debonair racist' and a 'Texas Jew.'"

There's no indication that Hakeem Jeffries, who's denounced the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S., shares his uncle's views. The congressman told the Wall Street Journal in 2013 that he's close with his uncle but doesn't support his ideas.

Jeffires "has consistently and forcefully spoken out against antisemitism throughout his career," the congressman's office told Just the News. "His on the record comments made to the Wall Street Journal speak for themselves."

However, there's little indication of Jeffries being questioned about how his uncle may have influenced him.

Indeed, there's been hardly any mention of the uncle as Jeffries has received significant media coverage recently, with noticeable silence from those loudly criticizing Trump's dinner, according to a Just the News review of recent press coverage.

Washington Times opinion editor Charles Hurt noticed this imbalance, quipping, "So, the question is this: Has Hakeem Jeffries ever dined with Leonard Jeffries?"

The widespread criticism of Trump and apparent lack of interest in Leonard Jeffries may be part of what some experts describe as a double standard in calling out anti-Semitism.

"Anti-Semites on the right are condemned much more ferociously than anti-Semites on the left," said Klein.

Ye has been lambasted for his anti-Semitic remarks, with some members of the media calling him a white supremacist despite him being black. However, Ye's antisemitic comments appear to stem, at least in part, from an embrace of the ideas of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which believes blacks, not Jews, are the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews — a point that's received little media attention.

Followers of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement murdered four Jews at a kosher market in Jersey City, N.J., in December 2019 and planned further attacks against the Jewish community before they were killed by police, according to authorities.

The double standard also exists at the presidential level, according to Klein, who didn't hold back in chastising Trump but argued Biden is more deserving of criticism for praising and even hiring individuals whom he called anti-Semites — but not receiving scrutiny for doing so.

"Biden resoundingly praised [Michigan Democratic Rep.] Rashida Tlaib, an overt Jew-hater," said Klein. "That's much worse than Trump not repudiating antisemitism for his dinner. Tlaib has real power and influence in Congress."

Klein was referring to Biden addressing Tlaib directly during a speech last year in Dearborn, Mich.

"Rashid Tlaib — where's Rashid?" Biden said. "I'll tell you what, Rashid, I want to say to you that I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many other people. And it's from my heart, I pray that your grandmom and family are well — I promise I'm going to do everything to see that they are in the West Bank. You're a fighter, and God thank you for being a fighter."

Tlaib's Republican and Democrat colleagues have slammed her on a bipartisan basis for making anti-Semitic remarks, such as falsely accusing Israel, the world's lone Jewish state, of apartheid and equating Israel with Nazi Germany. Jewish leaders have accused her of peddling lies about Israel in order to "demonize" Jews.

Klein also pointed to Biden appointing "anti-Israel, pro-terrorist" Hady Amr last week as his new special representative for Palestinian affairs after previously naming him as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian affairs.

Amr wrote a year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that he was "inspired by the Palestinian intifada," a violent uprising against Israel that involved several terrorist attacks against Israeli civilian targets, while discussing his work as the national coordinator of the Middle East Justice Network.

Amr has accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and called for a deal with Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

"I have news for every Israeli," Amr wrote in 2002. "A very large proportion of the more than 150 million children and youth in the Arab World now have televisions, and they will never, never forget what the Israeli people, the Israeli military and Israeli democracy have done to Palestinian children. And there will be thousands who will seek to avenge these brutal murders of innocents."

He also threatened Americans "shouldn't be shocked when our military assistance to Israel and our security council vetoes that keep on protecting Israel come back to haunt us."

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