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March 24, 2015 5:41 pm

Jewish Group Calls Out Illinois Congresswoman’s ‘Pejorative’ Use of ‘Orthodox’

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Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky called Breitbard Editor Joel Pollak a "Jewish-Orthodox, Tea Party Republican." Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgThe Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU) criticized U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s (D-Ill.) “pejorative” use of the word “Orthodox” in remarks at the annual conference of the left-wing J Street lobby on Monday, and welcomed the lawmaker’s subsequent apology.

Schakowsky had thanked J Street for supporting her in an election campaign against Joel Pollak, who is currently the senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News. The Illinois congresswoman said in videotaped comments, “In 2010, I had an election… an election within our community. That is, I ran against a Jewish-Orthodox, Tea Party Republican (Pollak) who made it very clear that actually Jan Schakowsky was anti-Israel because of the positions that she took. J Street came to my rescue.”

On Tuesday, OU Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament said, “Bias and prejudice have no place in our American political discourse.  In the context of her remarks and speaking to such an audience, the Congresswoman’s use of the term ‘Orthodox’ was a negative term—as negative for that [J Street] audience as Tea Party and Republican. This morning, upon learning about her remarks, we spoke with Rep. Schakowsky and conveyed how offended we were by the apparent intent of her remarks. We appreciate the unequivocal apology issued by Representative Schakowsky in response to our concerns. We hope such an incident will not occur again.”

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  • Elmo Glick

    Back in the late ’90’s, she was the congresswoman, I believe, who tried to intervene to help the union organizing campaign at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Arthur Levitt, a Clinton appointee, was fighting the union fiercely. Levitt just ignored her essentially. No one feared her, no one took her seriously. Not much clout for a congresswoman from the same party. She was totally ineffectual.

  • Elmo Glick

    Might be the best thing that ever happened to Joel. He’ll have far more impact with his platform at Breitbart than he ever could or she ever would as an obscure back-bencher for life. At least that’s the status she will have for the rest of her career. I don’t see how JStreet could rescue any Jew, just sacrifice them.

  • maurice goretsky

    ‘J’ street coming to the defense of an intolerant Jew who ridicules her own people with different views than she,is like hitler coming to the defense of a person who espouses Naziism.
    How many J st. were alive during the holocaust,have relatives with tattooed numbers on their forearms,or are descendants of survivors who made it to Israel.
    How many have visited Israel or fought for Israel or lost relatives in the multitude of wars fought since ’48?
    Over 4 millennia Jewish blood has been one of the cheapest commodities.In today’s world J street represents a naive ,unrealistic head in the sand view which overlooks the hatred and policies which would obliterate our people and are prevalent more now than during the holocaust

  • Joshua Arendt

    Interesting how the Congresswoman can use terms offensive to Jews while criticizing Netanyahu. Perhaps it’s time Americans reassess their relationship with her for using discriminatory language.

  • Eric R.

    Schakowsky is a leftist kapo.

  • Loshon hara was spoken from haDothanit

    Another socialist min showing her true colors. This is where we have to play to win before they produce another karl marx.

    We win the endgame which is to educate the next generations about Torah!

  • Daniel Shapiro

    Wait just a minute!!! POTUS and his State Department have been saying for several days now, “words matter” and we can’t trust someone when they clarify or apologize. I have not a moment’s doubt that jen schakowsky meant to disparage Orthodox Jews with her remark in her effort to endear herself to the anti Israel self haters of Obama’s j street.

  • Daniel Shapiro

    Wait just a minute!!! POTUS and his State Department have been saying for several days now, “words matter” and we can’t trust someone when they clarify or apologize. I have not a moment’s doubt that jen schakowsky meant to disparage Orthodox Jews with her remark in her effort tender herself to the anti Israel self haters of Obama’s j street.

  • al sheeber

    She is a known Communist, the rest is less important!

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