“Reverend Warnock is a beloved friend and ally of Georgia’s Jewish community and a friend of Israel,” said Jon Ossoff.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
A campaign ad released Monday by the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) promotes the “shared values” of Georgia Senate runoff candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who has come under fire recently for equating Israel with apartheid South Africa.
“You’ve got a young Jewish man, an African American pastor, running together with shared values, shared commitment,” Warnock said in the ad.
The two Democrats have also been endorsed by J Street, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Ossoff’s campaigns.
According to J Street’s statement of principles, “The future of both Israelis and Palestinians depends on achieving a two-state solution to their conflict and an end to the ongoing occupation.”
J Street called Ossoff and Warnock “two pro-Israel, pro-peace candidates.”
However, Warnock’s opponent, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), has repeatedly criticized Warnock’s views on Israel.
“Reverend Warnock has a long history of anti-Israel extremism. He defended Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Semitic comments. He embraced the anti-Zionist BLM organization. And he thinks Israel is an ‘oppressive regime’ for fighting back against terrorism,” Loeffler tweeted on November 10.
Ossoff came to Warnock’s defense, telling the Forward on November 18, “Kelly Loeffler’s baseless attacks on the Reverend make me sick.”
“Reverend Warnock is a beloved friend and ally of Georgia’s Jewish community and a friend of Israel,” he said, adding that “his spiritual leadership and his interfaith outreach are deeply appreciated across our state.”
In 2019, Warnock signed a letter that likened Israeli control of Judea and Samaria to “previous oppressive regimes” such as “apartheid South Africa.”
Even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose leadership is considered left-leaning, has acknowledged that comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa are completely unfounded and typically used by groups that wish to “demonize Israel and designate Israel for pariah status.”
“The treatment of Arabs by the State of Israel cannot be compared in any way to the treatment of the black majority in South Africa under apartheid,” the ADL said in a fact sheet.
Warnock also criticized Israel in a sermon given after the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.
“We saw the government of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. And I don’t care who does it; it’s wrong,” he said.
“It’s wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all. And it’s no more anti-Semitic for me to say that than it is anti-white for me to say that black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter,” Warnock said.
In a 2016 sermon, Warnock compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to segregationist George Wallace, calling Netanyahu’s opposition to a two-state solution “tantamount to saying occupation today, occupation tomorrow, occupation forever.”
In Warnock’s sermons, he has repeatedly referred to Jesus as a “poor Palestinian prophet” and a “Palestinian peasant,” descriptions regularly used by anti-Israel activists like Linda Sarsour, who is also a strong supporter of Ossoff and Warnock.
Earlier this month, Ossoff and Warnock campaigned with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who has called Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria “termites.”
Ossoff worked as a national security aide for Johnson for five years, handling defense, foreign affairs, intelligence, and economic policy.
In July, Ossoff accused his opponent, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), of anti-Semitism by purposely enlarging Ossoff’s nose in a campaign ad.
Perdue denied any wrongdoing, calling it an “inadvertent technical mistake.”
“Look, I will stand on my record,” Perdue told Fox News, “This is not the first time a friend of Israel or a friend of the Jewish people has been victimized here, falsely.”