‘Anti-Semitic’ rhetoric in NY Congressional race

June 22, 2016  

Accusations of anti-Semitism have arisen in the congressional race for New York’s 13th district.

Last week Assemblyman Keith Wright shared an article accusing an opponent of not helping his district because the opponent is Jewish. Councilman Mark Levine accused Wright of using anti-Jewish hatred in an effort to appeal to Dominican voters.

Levine’s office translated part of the article, which was in Spanish, as: “In 2013 he did not support the community leader Luis Tejada for a seat on the City Council for District 7 and supported the Jew Mark Levine, among other slights the Dominicans remember.”

At first a spokesperson for Wright countered that charges of anti-Semitism are “absurd” because Wright did not write the article himself. Later, however, the assemblyman said that the staffer responsible the tweet “violated protocol.” It has since been taken down.

“I’ve come to expect this kind of ugly rhetoric from the gutters of New York politics. Shame on Assemblyman Wright for peddling it” Levine told Jewish Insider.

By contrast, he pointed to Espaillat’s support of the Jewish community after a yeshiva student was threatened for wearing a kippah.

The 13th district covers upper Manhattan and part of the western Bronx, including the neighborhoods of Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights and the Upper West Side. Only five percent of the district’s population is Jewish, but it covers Yeshiva University and other significant Jewish areas.

The election will take place on June 28.

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