‘Disgusting Post’: Democratic candidate mocks ex-House Speaker for meeting with Orthodox Jews

Former Democratic congressman from New York who is looking to win back his seat mocks Kevin McCarthy for meeting with Hasidic Jews.

By Andrew Bernard, The Algemeiner

A candidate for a New York congressional district with the largest Jewish constituency in the country on Tuesday mocked former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for meeting with Orthodox Jews.

Mondaire Jones, a former congressman and current US Commissioner on Civil Rights who is running against Republican Mike Lawler for New York’s 17th district, posted on social media to make fun of McCarthy’s ouster from the speakership after McCarthy lost a motion to vacate led by eight Republican rebels.

“Well this was a waste of everyone’s time,” Jones wrote over the image of McCarthy wearing a yarmulke and sitting next to Lawler during a meeting with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Rockland County, New York.

Jones’ post drew immediate criticism for his decision to feature Orthodox Jews in a post about McCarthy losing the speakership, including from fellow Democrats.

“This disgusting post is insulting to Jewish people and every person of faith,” wrote Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). “Meeting with religious leaders is critical to understanding the needs of our communities. This antisemitic rhetoric is deeply concerning.”

“This was not a waste of time. It is never a waste of time to meet with religious leaders. Additionally, I doubt your choice of religion to highlight here was coincidental,” said Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL).

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A spokesperson for Jones noted to The Algemeiner that Moskowitz has now deleted that post and pointed to his follow up message after Moskowitz and Jones spoke together.

“I appreciate this clarification and removal of the tweet,” Moskowitz wrote. “With the rise of antisemitism imagery is sensitive. I want to be clear, after speaking to him I do not believe that was his intent. I appreciate his record in Congress of standing with the Jewish community in his district.”

Both Gottheimer and Moskowitz are Jewish and voted to remove McCarthy from the Speakership on Tuesday.

The Republican Jewish Coalition also joined in the criticism, asking Jones, “Would you like to clarify why it’s a waste of time to meet with Jewish voters?”

A spokesperson for the US Commission on Civil Rights told The Algemeiner that Jones was not a commission spokesperson and could not speak on behalf of the agency.

“Commissioner Jones’ social media posts are his personal viewpoints, which are supported by the First Amendment but do not reflect that of the Commission,” the spokesperson said.

Jones reposted a comment saying that he was simply concerned about the time spent by Jewish voters with McCarthy.

“Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly wasted the time of Hasidic leaders in the Lower Hudson Valley,” Jones said. “He has never delivered for communities in Rockland and will continue to fail to deliver for Rocklanders because he’s no longer Speaker. By contrast, I have delivered for all communities in Rockland and will continue that track record upon my return to Congress.”

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On Wednesday, Jones deleted the post, saying his tweet 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,” Jones said. “Regrettably, I did not make this point clear enough, and so I have deleted the tweet. I am proud of my record of combating antisemitism in Congress and after Congress. In a time of rising anti-semitism, we must be crystal clear where we stand: I continue to be a strong ally of our diverse Jewish communities.”

Lawler in a statement said that Jones’ comments were “disqualifying” and referenced his associations with the so-called “Squad” of left-wing progressive members of Congress.

“Mondaire Jones tweeted the quiet part out loud,” Lawler wrote. “His comments are shocking but not surprising for a guy who pals around with antisemites like Pramila Jayapal, Jamaal Bowman, and the rest of the Squad….Unlike dog-whistling Mondaire Jones and his Israel-hating friends, I’ll always stand up for Israel and our Jewish communities. Mondaire Jones’ comments are disqualifying. He has no place being in Congress, let alone representing one of the largest Jewish populations in the country in the 17th district.”

Jones previously served in Congress from 2020 to 2022, but lost in a Democratic primary after New York’s congressional seats were redistricted. Unlike several members of the Squad, he describes himself as firmly pro-Israel. He is currently one of three Democrats who have announced their candidacy in the 17th district. The New York Democratic primary race will be held in June, 2024.