(July 31, 2019 / JNS) Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) over the weekend accused the Republican Party of opposing anti-Semitism solely to get money from Jewish donors.
“There has been a lot of discussion for the past nine months or so, eight months, about anti-Semitism,” she told an audience on Sunday at a Jewish Democratic summer conference.
“We have, what I believe is a full-on attempt by the Republican Party to grab a different community and bring them into the fold, and I will just be very honest, right, they are not looking for our votes because we are a relatively small community; they are looking for our donors, right?” she continued. “They are looking for our donors, and they are trying to sway us.”
Her comments did not sit well with Republican Jewish leadership.
Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks responded in a statement: “Congresswoman Slotkin’s remarks are factually wrong and ugly. Slotkin thinks so little of our fellow Jews that she believes Republicans ‘are not looking for [Jewish] votes, because we are a relatively small community.’ While Jews are a small community, they vote in far greater percentages than other ethnic groups. Jewish votes have tipped the scales in state and federal elections in key states, including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“Slotkin’s dismissive attitude towards our Jewish community is reflective of her party’s views, and is one of the reasons we see Jews moving to the Republican Party. In fact,” continued Brooks, “Republicans continue to earn more and more votes from the Jewish community every election cycle, and approximately one-third of Jews aged 18 to 30 support [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump.”
He ended by saying that the congresswoman should “refrain from denigrating her fellow Jews by saying that they are only wanted for their money. She could do better for the Jewish community if she had the courage to stand up to the blatant anti-Semitism of [Minnesota Rep.] Ilhan Omar and [Michigan Rep.] Rashida Tlaib in her own party.”
On the flip side, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Soifer said “Republican attempts to use anti-Semitism and Israel as political wedge issues will fail at attracting Jewish voters. That is because Jewish voters don’t want to see Israel politicized by Republicans in order to score political points, and we don’t want to be used as pawns to shield President Trump’s bigoted views.“
The Jewish community, she said, rejects “the president’s emboldening of white nationalism, and is deeply concerned about its security implications for Jews and other minority communities. This is one of many reasons Jews will overwhelmingly support Democrats, including Rep. Slotkin, in 2020.”
Slotkin is one six Jewish freshmen members of Congress.