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Setting the Record Straight on Jeffries

In your last issue (April 20, 2023) you had a brief article calling into question Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ recollection of a controversy involving his uncle Leonard Jeffries, who lost a professorship due to antisemitic remarks he had made (“House Minority Leader Under Fire for ‘Vague Recollection’ of Uncle’s Antisemitism” April 20, 2023). I first saw these remarks as “talking points” published by Republican strategics. The events in controversy occurred more than thirty years ago. We have come a long way since 1992.

The Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of today has been known by many as “a voice of pro-Israel activism.” (Former New York Rep. Steve Israel). Rabbi Michael Miller, former executive president of the New York JCRC has recalled how Rep. Jeffries was first approached by Jewish leaders with apprehension because of his uncle’s antics. “That has all been disabused over the years. He has been an outspoken ally of Israel…”

Israel has few outspoken and effective leaders on Capitol Hill. If the Jewish Link has questions about Rep. Jeffries’ feelings towards the Jewish community, it should request an interview with him. That would be more meaningful than seeing warmed-over Republican talking points which spout little substance.

Finally, the Republican Jewish coalition pointed to this non-event as proof of the “Democratic promotion of antisemitism.” It wasn’t a Democrat who invited antisemite Kanye West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes to a lavish dinner just months ago. Where were these people then?

Rabbi Martin Rosenfeld
Fair Lawn
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