Infection within the Republican Party

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North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Keith Robinson (R) (Wikimedia Commons)

We are troubled by a recent poll that found three in 10 Republicans believe the QAnon conspiracy theory. At a time when the party is struggling to find its balance, it can ill afford to tolerate a growing fringe that is increasingly anti-Semitic, racist, Islamophobic and militaristic.

In the wake of the deadly incursion on the Capitol and the genuine soul searching many Republicans are undertaking, it is increasingly important for Jewish Republicans to call out the anti-Semitic hatemongers within the party, and to disassociate fully from them. We commend the Republican Jewish Coalition for its forceful challenge to Mark Keith Robinson, North Carolina’s new lieutenant governor, who is a serial spewer of hateful rhetoric and Jew-hating tropes.

Robinson has a nasty history. For example, in 2018, he attacked the Jewish creators of the hero character in the “Black Panther” movie that was released to rousing acclaim from African Americans who saw the Black superhero as a source of pride. Robinson, who is also Black, saw it differently. In a Facebook post, he decried the “sorry state” of people who “get so excited about a fictional ‘hero’ created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by a satanic Marxist.” He then asked: “How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride?”

The offensiveness of Robinson’s rant is breathtaking.

Similarly, Republicans need to deal with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who doubled down on her unmoored claims of Soros-run Jewish world control, including the existence of Jewish space lasers. She continues to promote the anti-Semitic QAnon and its belief in a child-eating pedophile ring run by Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Moshe Phillips, national director of Herut North America’s U.S. division, a right-wing Zionist group, called on fellow conservative Jews to demand an end to such dangerous blaspheme, and stated the issue clearly: “Considering how often Jews have been targeted — and hurt — by conspiracy-mongering, you would assume that every Zionist and Jewish organization, from right to left, would speak out against Greene,” he wrote. While “those on the left have [spoken up],” he noted, “not all those on the right have.”

Phillips recognized that Greene presents a dilemma for Republicans. She has embraced former President Donald Trump and Trump hasn’t distanced himself from her. Still, he says, “The fact that the Trump administration took a number of pro-Israel actions does not mean the Jewish community has some obligation to follow him in embracing Greene.”

Of course, there are players on the left whose beliefs and speech are similarly troubling. We have called them out before and will do so again when warranted. But for now, the more heated hatred is coming from the right and needs to be addressed.

Life is full of choices. Political life, especially, is full of choices. We call on Jewish Republicans and party leadership to make the right choices and to make their voices heard.

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