Former Democratic congressman Mondaire Jones, who has received an endorsement from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, caused quite a stir when he made an “antisemitic” remark about former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Jones, who is running for Congress in New York’s swing district (NY-17), took to social media to mock McCarthy’s meeting with Orthodox Jewish leaders in the Hudson Valley. He sarcastically called the meeting “a waste of everyone’s time,” igniting backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.
Dem Candidate Goes 'Antisemitic' to Own Kevin McCarthy
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 4, 2023
McCarthy has been courting the Jewish community in the area, hoping to secure their support for Mike Lawler, the incumbent representative whom Jones is challenging. During the meeting, McCarthy expressed his friendship with the community and promised to advocate for parental rights in education. Despite not receiving an endorsement, McCarthy vowed to continue building relations with the Jewish enclave.
Why does Mondaire Jones have a problem with Kevin McCarthy spending time with Jews? pic.twitter.com/3gvBOb1f7c
— Matthew Foldi (@MatthewFoldi) October 3, 2023
House @SpeakerMcCarthy toured Jewish communities in #Monsey and #NewSquare in #RocklandCounty along with Congressman Rep. @lawler4ny McCarthy and Lawler were also received by the Skverer Rebbe and Jewish community leaders: https://t.co/NcywXcGv0Z pic.twitter.com/AqNZlNFoSg
— PalmTreeOC (@oc_palm) March 6, 2023
A man who wants to represent these Jews in the United States Congress is insulting them instead of seeking their vote.
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) October 3, 2023
Two members of Congress have taken a very clear stance against a former colleague for an arguably Antisemitic post. More members of Congress should do the same.
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) October 4, 2023
Jones added, “By contrast, I have delivered for all communities in Rockland and will continue that track record upon my return to Congress.” 2/2
— Jacob N. Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 4, 2023
Yesterday, I posted a tweet that was too open to misinterpretation. My point was to communicate that Kevin McCarthy, and by extension Mike Lawler, cannot possibly deliver for communities in Rockland because he’s no longer Speaker. Regrettably, I did not make this point clear…
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) October 4, 2023
Lawler fires back at Jones in stmt to me/@J_Insider: “Mondaire Jones tweeted the quiet part out loud. His comments are shocking but not surprising for a guy who pals around with anti-Semites like Pramila Jayapal, Jamaal Bowman, and the rest of the Squad.” https://t.co/N8QDOTmSww https://t.co/vWGCRqSAxr pic.twitter.com/wwQMhXvQm4
— Marc Rod (@marcrod97) October 4, 2023
In a sharply worded statement to JI, Liz Whitmer Gereghty (@LizforNY), a top primary rival to Jones, weighs in on his tweet: “If Mondaire Jones didn't realize that his tweet could be viewed as antisemitic and elicit vile comments in response, I would question his judgment.” https://t.co/5k3OvY1Ezd pic.twitter.com/o8RHA6pDo9
— Matthew Kassel (@matthewkassel) October 4, 2023
Many found Jones’s comments deeply insulting and antisemitic. Joel M. Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel Village Union Free School District, accused Jones of insulting the very people he wants to represent in Congress. U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer expressed deep concern over the antisemitic rhetoric and emphasized the importance of meeting with religious leaders. Another Democratic congressman, Jared Evan Moskowitz, criticized Jones for his choice of religion to highlight in his post.
Jones tried to clarify his remarks, stating that he believed McCarthy had repeatedly wasted the time of Hasidic leaders in the past and would continue to do so. However, critics argued that his comments were inappropriate and disrespectful. Some even called for Jones to apologize to the Jewish community in the district. Republican candidate Mike Lawler pointed out that Jones’s association with the far-left Squad, known for its controversial views, was not surprising given his comments.
It remains to be seen how this incident will impact Jones’s congressional bid, but his affiliation with the Squad and his controversial statement may not resonate well with voters in the district. Jones is currently the favored candidate for the Democratic nomination in the primary, which will take place on June 25th.