More than 40 Jewish Leaders Pen Letter Accusing PA Congresswoman of Antisemitism

by Xara Aziz

Over 40 Jewish leaders have signed a letter voicing displeasure over comments Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) made about the Israel-Hamas war. In the letter, rabbis and cantors accused the congresswoman of imploring “divisive rhetoric” that “has [been] perceived as openly antisemitic.”

“Last fall we wrote to you with concerns about your rhetoric and votes in relation to the events of October 7 in Israel, the subsequent war and the rise in antisemitism in America,” the letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, reads. “You graciously agreed to meet with us, and in that meeting you promised us that you would call out antisemitism and temper your own language.”

The signatories added: “Sadly, three months later, you have not followed through on those commitments.”

Just one week before the letter was released to the public, Rep. Lee canceled an appearance at a fundraising banquet for a Muslim advocacy group. Several of the scheduled speakers at the event, Jewish Insider notes, have spoken publicly about their antisemitic and homophobic views.

Initially, the publication said Rep. Lee planned to join the event following Hamas’ attack against Israel on October 7. According to the publication, she was reported as calling Israelis “demons” who lie to “cover their horns.”

Following the report, Rep. Lee posted a statement announcing she would not be attending the banquet, which was hosted by the Philadelphia branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, “to prevent the Muslim community from being the target of any more politically motivated Islamophobia and to ensure my Jewish and LGBTQ+ constituents know their concerns are heard.”

“I have worked my entire life to bring these communities together, and I will continue to do so,” she continued.

The letter further states that the signatories believe Rep. Lee accepted campaign contributions from pro-Palestinian activists who have “voiced virulently antisemitic sentiments” about Israel.

“So easily you have criticized campaign contributions to others; the time is now to hold yourself to the very same standard you seek from others,” the letter reads, which added that she should give back the donations. “We call on you to denounce antisemitism fully and frequently, including returning contributions and declining support from those who have voiced hateful views.”

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