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July 12, 2017 11:50 am

Rabbis Defend US Lawmaker in Auschwitz Controversy

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Rep. Clay Higgins. Photo: Official House photographer, Dana Barciniak.

JNS.org – A rabbinical group is defending a member of Congress who was criticized by some Jews for posting a brief video of himself visiting the site of the Auschwitz death camp.

The Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents some 200 Orthodox rabbis in the US and Canada, wrote in a July 10 letter to Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) that he “deserves thanks from the Jewish people” for “detailing and dramatizing the atrocities of the Holocaust,” and speaking about the need to ensure “that the United States is protected from the evils of the world.”

Officials of the Auschwitz Museum chided Higgins July 4 for not seeking advance permission to use his cell phone to record his brief comments during the visit. The Anti-Defamation League went further on July 5, publicly accusing the lawmaker of “politicizing” the Auschwitz site. The rabbis countered that “the protection of law-abiding Americans is not merely a political position.” They commended Higgins for “showing your sincere concern for the safety of Jews around the world, although only 400 of us reside in your district.” Higgins had posted the video on July 1.

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