Not Jewish but ‘Jew-ish’: NY politician admits to lying on campaign trail

“I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was `Jew-ish,’” Santos said.

By World Israel News Staff

A Republican politician from New York admitted on Monday that he lied about key elements of his background, including having Jewish heritage, while on the campaign trail.

Representative-elect George Santos, who managed to successfully flip a Long Island Democrat stronghold, had said in interviews and biographical materials that he graduated from Baruch College, worked at Goldman Sachs, and that his Jewish maternal ancestors had fled from Nazi-occupied Belgium to Brazil.

In an exclusive interview with the New York Post, Santos acknowledged that much of that was untrue. In reality, he never graduated from college, nor did he work at Goldman Sachs.

Rather, he said, he worked at a company that frequently did business with the storied investment firm. He said that his relationship with Goldman Sachs had been “stated poorly.”

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos told the Post on Monday. “I own up to that.”

However, Santos was more evasive when asked questions about his claims of being Jewish, when it appears that he is a practicing Catholic.

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

Santos’ denial of ever stating he was Jewish is dishonest, as weeks ago he joined the Republican Jewish Coalition of Long Island.

Matt Brooks, the RJC CEO, had told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he had asked Santos “about this. He identifies as Jewish.”

Brooks added that “he considers himself a Jew. That’s good enough for me.”

Santos also called himself a “member of the Jewish community” in a tweet after he attended an event led by the Chabad Orthodox Jewish outreach group.

A JTA look into Santos’ mother’s background revealed that her obituary contained zero references to Judaism, nor was she buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Based on her surname, it is likely that the family originated from a heavily Catholic part of Belgium, where Jewish heritage is extremely uncommon.