New Jersey’s congressional delegation has condemned local council members for using anti-Semitic language in the past several weeks.
“Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and right here in New Jersey. We must never accept bigotry or hatred in any form,” they said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are calling on both the Trenton Councilman and Councilwoman to apologize immediately or resign.”
The delegation includes Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Tom Malinowski (D), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.).
The president of the City Council in Trenton, N.J., Kathy McBride, allegedly said during a Sept. 5 closed-door meeting that a Jewish city lawyer was able to reach a settlement at a reduced rate in a personal-injury lawsuit by being “able to wait her out and Jew her down.”
Defending McBride, City Councilwoman Robin Vaughn said the term “is a verb,” reported The Trentonian.
“I believe her comment ‘Jew down’ was more in reference to negotiating, not ‘I hate Jews,’ ” Vaughn wrote on Facebook, according to the outlet. “Inappropriate in today’s PC culture absolutely, but to ‘Jew someone down’ is a verb and is not-anti-anything or indicative of hating Jewish people.”
Councilman George Muschal told the New Jersey Globe that the expression is “just a statement of speech.”
McBride and Muschal apologized on Monday.
Last week, Councilman Michael Jackson of Paterson, N.J., used the expression “Jew us down” at a public meeting to condemn developers seeking to purchase land for less money.
Colleagues of his condemned him, saying the term is “highly insensitive,” “reprehensible” and “totally inappropriate.”
Jackson regretted the comment as a “mistake,” and that he meant it with “no malice.”
“That statement should have never been made,” he said. “I ask everyone to forgive me for my brief lack of sensitivity.”
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