Rep. Cori Bush, a controversial Democrat from St. Louis, is under fire over antisemitic remarks made by an activist who once organized a fundraiser for her.
Neeven Ayesh, who describes herself as a political strategist in her Twitter bio, was said to have used the social media platform to make a number of inflammatory remarks against Israel and Jews over the years, including a blatant endorsement of violence.
“I want to set Israel on fire with my own hands & watch it burn to ashes along with every Israeli in it,” Ayesh tweeted in February 2014. “Once again I want to personally set Israel & all the Israelis in it on fire & watch them burn to ashes. Burn you bastards #IHateYou,” she posted in March of that year. A few years earlier, in January 2011, she posted, “#crimesworthyoftherope being a Jew.”
Ayesh has acknowledged posting the tweets but claimed that she has changed since then.
“First and foremost, I want to take ownership and acknowledge how horrendous the context of those tweets actually are. I was young, dumb & said horrible things that I never acted on, that I never would act on, because I am not that person,” Ayesh tweeted on July 13.
While Ayesh’s more recent tweets about Israel and Jews have not expressly endorsed violence, she continues to put forward messages against Israel and Jews, such as one from July 14, in which she posted a meme denigrating “White Zionists” from New York. Now, Jewish groups are questioning Bush over Ayesh’s comments, and the congresswoman herself has also expressed an anti-Israel view, accusing the Jewish state of having an “apartheid system.”
Executive editor of StopAntisemitism.com Liora Rez told JNS that Bush’s association with Ayesh was “appalling.”
“Bush’s recently redrawn district includes a large Jewish population,” said Rez. “How can her constituents trust her to represent them when she profits off of someone who wants to ‘watch Israel burn to ashes, along with every Israeli in it?’ ”
So far, Bush, a member of the group of left-wing House members known as the “Squad,” has not weighed in on the controversy. Bush is up for reelection this November. Her Democratic primary opponent, Missouri State Sen. Steve Roberts, posted an open letter earlier this month addressing the situation.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice