The top two Republicans in the House denounced Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Tuesday for comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust, but accused Democrats of ignoring a rise in antisemitism in their own party.
Why it matters: The U.S. and parts of Europe have seen a rise in antisemitic attacks and harassment in the wake of violence between Israel and Hamas.
- Progressive lawmakers have pressured Biden to confront Israel over its military offensive in Gaza, which killed at least 232 Palestinians before a ceasefire was reached last week.
- Republicans have sought to cast progressives' criticism of the Israeli government, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, as antisemitic.
Driving the news: Greene on Tuesday morning compared Food City employees wearing a logo indicating whether they had been vaccinated against COVID-19 to Jewish people being forced to wear the yellow star of David in Nazi Germany.
What they're saying: “Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement.
- “At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi," he added.
A spokesperson for House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told The Hill that the congressman "does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust."
- "We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party," the spokesperson added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Greene's comments as "outrageous" and "reprehensible," but used a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday largely to criticize Democrats for not doing enough to speak out against antisemitism.
- The speech came just after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, also condemned Greene's remarks as "sickening" and "reprehensible."
Flashback: Greene was stripped from her committee assignments earlier this year, in part over her past statements, which included antisemitic remarks.