“The use of the word ‘junta’ was carefully chosen by whoever wrote this grossly offensive post,” says American Jewish Committee official.
By World Israel News Staff
Following the confirmation of a Jewish attorney as the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) a local Kentucky Republican group decried the move as strengthening anti-gun Jews who aim to seize firearms from Americans.
“A Jewish anti-gun activist, Steve Dettelbach, has just been made director of the ATF,” read a Facebook post last week from the Bracken County Republican Party . “The Jewish junta is getting stronger and more aggressive.”
The post went on to criticize two Republican senators for failing to vote against Dettelbach’s confirmation. Their failure to intervene in the process meant that “it’s obvious they want to move on from having to defend rural gun owners,” the post read.
After a Courier Journal reporter reached out to Bracken County GOP chair Karin Kirkendol for comment on the statement, the post was immediately deleted.
Initially, Kirkendol did not respond to follow-up questions from the local outlet, though she did publish a statement condemning the post.
“Earlier today, I was made aware of an inappropriate post on the Bracken County GOP Facebook page,” she wrote. “That post does not represent the values of the Bracken County Republican Party. It was incredibly insensitive. We will investigate how this occurred, and we commit to tighter oversight of our social media going forward.”
In an email exchange with the Courier Journal, Kirkendol blamed the post on “hackers” and deleted the Bracken County Republican Party Facebook page.
She also appeared to frame media coverage of the post as inherently unfair, saying that she felt compelled to remove the page in its entirety “due to the hurtful nature of the article, and how much harm it was bringing to so many.”
Melanie Maron Pell, a Louisville-based official with the American Jewish Committee, told the Courier Journal that “the use of the word ‘junta’ was carefully chosen by whoever wrote this grossly offensive post.”
“The implication that Jews are plotting a violent overthrow of our government feeds into the all too prevalent antisemitic tropes that infect our society,” she said.
In February, two Kentucky state assemblymen, Rep. Walker Thomas and Sen. Rick Girdler, each separately used the phrase “Jew them down” as a synonym for hard bargaining during discussions about state agency leases.