Fox News pundits on Thursday made an odd comparison when discussing Congress passing a Democratic bill to condemn anti-Semitism.
The bill follows Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks last week where she said of Israel, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Many found the remarks played on anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish ties to Israel.
Ex-Eric Holder speechwriter Jake Maccoby explained on the March 7 edition of Fox’s “Outnumbered” that as a Jewish person, he feels people should be more careful about what they say when discussing Jewish people and Israel. He said he finds the tropes harmful and did not “appreciate being used to make a political point.”
“I think a lot of the conversations going on right now is just disingenuous,” he says. “You’ve got the same people who stood behind Donald Trump when he said that they were ‘good people on both sides’ in Charlottesville. These are the same people who turned a blind eye to [Republican] Rep. Steve King [who suggested the phrase “white supremacist” shouldn’t be “offensive.”] for ten years. The same people who have been dog whistling to their supporters every time they are up for re-election, saying, ‘How dare you attack my friends, the Jews?’ Frankly, it’s pretty insulting to watch that happen.”
He went on to say that Omar, like many non-Jewish people, don’t understand how the tropes are used.
“I, as a Jewish person, frankly, would rather make allies and have conversations and be able to help turn down the temperature on this than to sort of have our first reaction be one of rage and anger and frustration,” he adds.
Interestingly, Maccoby’s remarks mirror the sentiments of Omar’s critics, who are conflating her questioning of America’s relationship with Israel and the influence pro-Israeli lobbyists have on that relationship as an attack on Jews generally.
His co-host, conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, circled back to Maccoby’s comments about Trump remarking that there are “fine people on both sides” when it came to the neo-Nazi rally that resulted in the death of one in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. She made it clear that the president’s views were not shared among all Republicans.
“If you want to take that argument and kind of put it on its head, that’s exactly what Democrats are doing now. They railed against President Trump for saying there were fine people on both sides. [Democratic] Rep. Nancy Pelosi is saying, ‘We are not going to include her name in this resolution,’ when this is about her.”
Rep. King, by contrast, was named in a January resolution after his remarks about white supremacy.
“And ‘Oh, by the way, will include other forms of bigotry.’ That is exactly like President Trump,” Stuckey continues. “Shamefully, I believe, saying there are ‘fine people on both sides.’ So if you didn’t like it then, you should be doing it now.”
However, Maccoby made the distinction that “there is a big difference between defending Neo-Nazis” and Omar’s remarks.
Then, co-host and Fox commentator Kennedy jumped in to say she believes Maccoby should “take a much firmer stand against this kind of language,” before agreeing with Stuckey.