Joseph Simon, a “District Systems Manager” (whatever the heck that is) for J. D. Hayworth wrote a letter to the Jewish News defending Hayworth from charges of anti-semitism. Of course, the Jewish News never actually said Hayworth was anti-semetic, in fact, they had explicitly said he wasn’t. They just thought he should be careful about quoting anti-semites to support his immigration policies.
Never mind that though. Simon made a rather silly charge in his letter:
By the way, Hayworth’s opponent has no record of support for Israel and probably couldn’t find it on a map until deciding to run for Congress.
Well, funny that Mr. Simon brings it up. Harry Mitchell has been to Israel: touring the old city, visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, visiting historical sites such as Masada and even meeting leaders like Shimon Peres. This was back in 2005, before he considered a run for congress.
On the other hand, Hayworth hasn’t made any official visits to Israel.
The thing that I find interesting is that Simon seems to set the bar rather low for what, in his words, a “friend” to the Jewish community is. He seems to be arguing that all one has to do to be a “friend” is to support the policies of the State of Israel. Hard for me as a Catholic to pick out who are good friends to the Jewish community, but I would think that “friends” would mean folks who, when given the chance, use their position to oppose anti-semitism.
Hayworth has been given numerous chances to do so as a congressman, but seems to have passed them up.
For example, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, a letter was circulated among house members asking that the President urge Abbas to stop allowing the promotion of anti-semetic ideology in Palestinian schools and media. Members of congress, including Democrats and Republicans, signed the letter. Hayworth’s signature is not there. Another letter was circulated asking Kofi Annan to take more action against global anti-semitism. Raúl Grijalva found time to sign it, Hayworth didn’t.
Hayworth also had a chance to co-sponsor the Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. 35 members saw fit to put their names on this bill, but Hayworth did not. Jeff Flake and Rick Renzi put their names on the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, but Hayworth couldn’t be bothered.
As I’ve said numerous times, Hayworth is not an anti-semite. However, it is disingenuous to say that he stood-up against anti-semitism, when he has passed up these chances to do so, especially because he isn’t exactly shy about talking about other issues that concern him.