‘Jew-ish’ congressman will not be welcome at Republican Jewish Coalition events

“He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage,” said RJC head of George Santos. “In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish.” 

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A Republican Congressman-elect who admitted Tuesday that he “embellished” his background, including lying about his Jewish heritage, will be unwelcome at events held by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

George Santos, who claimed his mother’s Jewish family had fled from Nazi-occupied Europe to Brazil, told the New York Post on Tuesday that he deceived the public about key aspects of his biography, including working for investment firm Goldman Sachs.

However, Santos was less forthcoming when it came time to taking responsibility for misleading the public into believing he was Jewish.

“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos told the Post. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was `Jew-ish.’”

Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, expressed disgust.

“We are very disappointed in Congressman-elect Santos. He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish,” Brooks said in a statement.

“He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event.”

JTA spoke to Brooks several weeks ago, when questions about various aspects of Santos’ background began to emerge. Brooks said he had asked about suspicion that he was fabricating his Jewish heritage.

According to Brooks, Santos explicitly said that he “identifies as Jewish” and “considers himself a Jew.”

In November 2018, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed to have Jewish roots at an event organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

Ocasio-Cortez was vague about the specifics of her ancestry, simply saying that “a very very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews.”

Several hours later on Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez chalked up her alleged Jewish heritage as being part of an ethnic mix common among people from Puerto Rico, where her family originates.

“To be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of: African Moors + slaves, Taino Indians, Spanish colonizers, Jewish refugees, and likely others,” she wrote.

She declined to answer media questions about how she discovered her Jewish roots, how long she had known about them, and if she could identify any of her alleged Jewish ancestors.

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Ocasio-Cortez’s revelation about her Jewish ancestry occurred shortly after she was called out by Jewish groups for her criticism of Israel.