GOP House Candidate Walks Back Antisemitic Diatribe
A Republican congressional candidate has apologized for accusing Jews of “controlling” US politics, The Orange County Register reported on Thursday.
On Wednesday, footage emerged of Greg Raths, who is running to represent California’s 40th congressional district, telling the Orange County Islamic Federation, the “Israeli PAC in Washington — they got money and they control a lot of these politicians. And the other side, the Palestinians, they don’t have clout.”
He also asserted that the “Jewish community is very well organized in the United States and they control a lot of politicians. That’s why the foreign aid is so large going to Israel.”
“The Jewish community has never given me one dime, so I’m not beholden to them at all,” Raths maintained.
The comments touched off a torrent of criticism, with the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center calling them “more antisemitic pandering,” and saying it “expects Republican leadership to publicly denounce using antisemitic screeds to raise money.”
Speaking to The Orange County Register on Thursday, Raths said, “I apologize if I offended the Jewish community.”
“I was just saying that organization is very important to get the ears of politicians in Washington, DC,” he continued. “Many politicians deny that, but it’s a fact.”
Stephen J. Einstein, of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley told the Register that Rath’s remarks could have lasting consequences.
“It can lead to hatred and then people acting violently because of their hatred,” he said.
Raths’ opponents in the race to represent the newly-drawn district include Republican incumbent Rep. Young Kim and Asif Mahmood, a Democrat. The top two finishers in the June 7 primary, regardless of party, will advance to the general election in November.