Is Jeremiah Wright an Anti-Semite? Raphael Warnock Can’t Say

Is Jeremiah Wright an Anti-Semite? Raphael Warnock Can’t Say

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock on Thursday evaded a question about whether Rev. Jeremiah Wright is an anti-Semite, and he made no mention of Wright’s past anti-Semitic comments.

“I know Reverend Wright. I’m not an anti-Semite,” Warnock said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I have never defended anti-Semitic comments from anyone.”

Warnock proceeded to criticize his opponent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R.) for engaging “in the same old Washington politics of division and distraction” and criticized Loeffler over health care. But he did not address Wright’s past anti-Semitic statements.

In 2009, Wright said that “them Jews” were dividing him and then-president Barack Obama, who had attended Wright’s church in Chicago. Wright also blamed the influence of a Jewish lobbying firm for preventing Obama from sending a delegation to a global conference on racism, and he accused Israelis of perpetrating an “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza.

“Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing [by] the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don’t want Barack talking like that because that’s anti-Israel,” he said.

Wright later said he meant to simply blame “Zionists,” not all Jews.

Warnock has also come under fire for his praise of Wright’s infamous “God Damn America” sermon, in which Wright compared the United States to al Qaeda and accused the U.S. government of creating the HIV virus to enact a genocide against minorities. Warnock said the sermon needs to be understood in context.

“You ought to go back and see if you can find and read, as I have, the entire sermon. It was a very fine sermon. And Jeremiah Wright was right when he said the attack on him was in a real sense an attack on the black church,” Warnock said in 2014. “The message of Jeremiah Wright was that public policy has consequences.”

Warnock also signed a letter in March 2019 criticizing Israel’s actions in the West Bank and comparing the country’s actions to apartheid South Africa.

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